The orchard spider (Leucauge venusta) is a long-jawed orb weaver spider. They are apparently common in North America. I found this one in my backyard and have to admit its the first one I’ve ever seen. I used my Tamron f 2.8 90 mm Macro lens mounted on my Manfrotto tripod to capture this one. Click on the image to view larger.
This little guy (or girl, not sure) let me get pretty close to him as if not scared at all. Possibly due to being very hungry or inexperienced-maybe both. Mom was no where in sight. He sure seemed to be enjoying the tender vegetation.
I’d never seen a Bobolink before so I was pretty excited to get these pics. This is an adult male who was kind enough to give me several poses and even bend down so I could see the white markings on his back. The Bobolink is the only American bird that is black underneath and white on the back. They are extraordinary migrants, traveling thousands of miles each autumn. Bobolinks are also one of the few songbirds that undergoes two complete molts each year. Please click on the images to view them larger.
This past weekend I took a trip to the southern part of Illinois to watch my nephews motocross race and along the way passed through Toledo, Illinois. Toledo has a nice little town square where the Cumberland County Courthouse is located. I couldn’t resist stopping to take some photographs. Each image is a composite of 3 photos combined in Nik Software HDR Efex Pro 2. Click on each image to view larger.
A recent visit to Galena, IL. took me by many beautiful Civil War era homes and Mansions. Galena was the residence of Ulysses S. Grant and eight other Civil War generals, as well as several entertainers and politicians. Once one of the most important cities in the state, Galena was a hub on the Mississippi River between St. Louis and St. Paul. It is rich in history and architecture not to mention a multitude of shops and dining choices. Below is a shot of Galena’s Main street where most of the shops and restaurants can be found.
The Belvedere Mansion and Gardens
This house is truly a walk into the history of this great nation during the time leading up to, during and after the Civil War. Ambassador J. Russell Jones served this country from shopkeeper to United States Marshall to Congress and throughout the Civil War as a champion of Ulysses S. Grant from the General’s humble residence in Galena to the seat of power in the White House. Jones remained a true friend to Eliuh Washburne, himself an honored General of the War and later Secretary of State throughout his life. Their communications are well documented and their seeds of friendship began in this very house. Lincoln called upon J. Russell Jones when he wished to know of Grant’s progress; and, the fortunes of war as far away as Paris and Brussels, as well as when Lincoln suspected that Grant might eventually take his place in the White House. From a young man, Jones tenacity for business rewarded him with the finest luxuries that life can afford (including this Victorian mansion) as well as with tragedy. (Taken from the Belvedere’s website)
I made this photo from 3 exposures (-1 EV, 0 EV, +1 EV- Handheld) taken on a recent trip to Galena, IL. and subsequently combined them in Photomatix Pro. I then made a few slight adjustments in Lightroom giving it that kinda far out, unreal look which I think looks cool on old vehicles. If you are new to HDR imaging as I am, you will find this great tutorial very helpful. If you enjoyed my photo please share with others and/or leave me a comment.
I recently took advantage of Nik Software’s price reduction on the entire collection and am really liking it. This is the first time ever using any of Nik Software’s products and I must say I’m impressed. This photo of a Canadian Goose reflected in water was processed with Nik Software Color Efex Pro 4. Please click on image to view larger.
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This is an 8 image HDR photo of an old grain elevator taken in Illinois. Click on image to view larger.