Archive for August, 2008

Birds of America

Audubon would like to thank Richard Buonanno for compiling the content for this online version of John James Audubon’s Birds of America, now available for display on Audubon.org. It is from an 1840 “First Octavo Edition” of Audubon’s complete seven volume text, and presents Audubon’s images and original text descriptions. Bird species can be found listed alphabetically, or categorized by family. Audubon’s drawings of some species’ anatomical features are also included in the “Figures” section. The list of species that have gone extinct since Audubon’s time was provided by Mr. Buonanno, as was the list of State Birds.

Note: This online edition utilizes the following conventions:

  • Within the text, you will see many names in capital letters. This was the convention that Audubon himself used in his text to set off proper names.
  • The Greek words that Audubon used in his Family and Genus descriptions have been “Latinized.”
  • The letters sometimes used in Audubon’s species descriptions refer to the specific parts of the Figure for that article. These letters have been enclosed in square brackets in order to make them more visible.
    Birds of America
    John James Audubon as Artist

    John James Audubon was a daring and colorful character renowned for his adventurous nature, his artistic genius, and his obsessive interest in birds. Learn about his life by reading “John James Audubon -The American Woodsman: Our Namesake and Inspiration“. He explored the natural history of much of the central and eastern United States, painted almost 500 species of the 700 or so regularly occurring North American species, worked tirelessly to promote his project, and set a new standard for artistry and printing. Perhaps above all else, Audubon was a lover and observer of birds and nature.

    Audubon drew birds from life whenever possible rather than from specimens alone. He did, indeed, shoot specimens that he wired and propped into life-like positions as models for his paintings. Of equal or greater importance, he spent much of his life traveling the continent observing the birds (and animals) in remarkable depth and detail. He studied the creatures in all of their plumages. He attempted to tease out mysteries of aberrant plumages and apparent hybrids. He took note of the birds’ food and habitat preferences meticulously. And, he watched them move, interact, and behave. He strove for action and reality; this was a new approach to the painting of birds.

    Audubon has been accused of presenting his subjects in too theatric a manner. The occasionally awkward postures he often used, however, emphasize outstanding features or fieldmarks. The exaggerated curves and stretches in some of his paintings also reflect his artistic eye; they work in the context of the painting. Finally, these paintings reflect Audubon’s love and fascination with the beauty and dynamics of our birds and the rest of our natural heritage; lively action jumps from the pages.

    As you explore this portfolio of his artwork, consider the complex story that each painting is telling and the fragile beauty it is depicting. Look at the Worm-eating Warblers eating pokeberries. It is a balanced, beautiful painting of curves and subtle colors; it shows all aspects of the adult birds’ plumage, and it includes a bird foraging on dead leaves – a very characteristic behavior of Worm-eating Warblers. Notice in the painting “Green Heron,” that Audubon shows us not only an adult male and “young in September ” but also appropriate botanicals and a Luna Moth. Explore the frenzy of activity depicted in “Northern Bobwhites and Red-shouldered Hawk” and “Northern Mockingbirds.” And finally, think of Audubon the conservationist when you view his painting of the Carolina Parakeets. Audubon knew that this species was declining and that birds in general were finite and often fragile because of the complex individual needs of each species. He knew that they needed and deserved conservation.

  • The Cardinal suite has a print of the male and female cardinal

  • The Warbler suite has a variety of warblers in one print

  • The Bluebird suite has a male bluebird print

  • The Purplefinch suite has picture of birds on nests

  • The Robin Suite has a pictue of a robin, the male and female look alike


Read Full Post »

TripAdvisor Traveler Reviews

Language: English first
Sort by: Date: Newest first Date: Oldest first Member rating: Highest first Member rating: Lowest first

Reviews of Songbird Prairie Bed & Breakfast

( 1-5 of 24 )


Songbird Prairie Bed & Breakfast

Save Review

5 of 5 stars
Chicago, Illinois

Aug 18, 2008 New

“Stayed at Songbird Prairie for my boyfriend’s birthday weekend and had a fabulous experience. It’s out in the country near Valparaiso and the perfect place to stay for a relaxing time at the Indiana Dunes. The accommodations are beautiful and luxurious, the breakfast fantastic, and the warm hospitality makes you feel truly pampered. We’ve stayed at many B&Bs around the country and this was truly one of the best experiences.

Songbird is a great choice for a romantic getaway, it’s quiet and there are great birdwatching opportunities right out the windows and around the beautiful grounds. Peaceful and beautiful. Go, you won’t regret it!”

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ATLtravelerGA’s Summary
Date of Stay: August 2008
Member since: April 04, 2007
  • My ratings for this hotel are:
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Read Full Post »

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Save or Splurge with Travel + Leisure’s Fabulous Road Trips

Delafied Hotel

Delafield Hotel, Delafield, Wisconsin 

With the rising costs of travel, we’re hearing that more and more people are staying close to home to avoid expensive airline tickets and the hassles of overbooking, checking bags and more. Heck, a lot of cash-strapped travelers are even opting for “staycations,” where you just stay home, relax and bypass traveling altogether.

While the “staycation” is certainly an option, there are plenty of incredible experiences just outside your front door. In fact, the wise folks over at Travel + Leisure just released their “20 Perfect Summer Getaways,” or easy road trips from 10 American cities.

The best part? For each city, they’ve detailed a “Save” and “Splurge” option, so you can go as lean or as luxe as you’d like.

For instance, according to Travel + Leisure’s itineraries, Atlanta residents can save on a hike in Amacalola State Park and a stay in the LEED-certified Len Foote Hike Inn, or splurge with a luxurious stay and cooking demo at the Inn at Chateau Ilan in Braselton, GA. Chicagoans can save on a walk in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and a stay at the quaint Songbird Prairie Bed & Breakfast in Valparaiso or splurge by antiquing in Delafield, Wisonsin with a stay at the Honeymoon Suite in the swank Delafield Hotel (pictured above).

To read the entire article in Travel+Leisure and find out where to go from your city, visit www.travelandleisure.com/articles/20-perfect-summer-getaways.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Read Full Post »


Read Full Post »


<!– Begin Teaposy video embed –>

<OBJECT id=VS_teaposy


height=270 width=320 align=middle


<PARAM NAME=”_cx” VALUE=”8467″>

<PARAM NAME=”_cy” VALUE=”7144″>

<PARAM NAME=”FlashVars” VALUE=””>

<PARAM NAME=”Movie” VALUE=”VS_teaposy.swf”> <PARAM NAME=”Src” VALUE=”http://www.importika.com/VS_teaposy.swf”&gt;

<PARAM NAME=”WMode” VALUE=”Window”>

<PARAM NAME=”Play” VALUE=”-1″>

<PARAM NAME=”Loop” VALUE=”-1″>

<PARAM NAME=”Quality” VALUE=”High”>


<PARAM NAME=”Menu” VALUE=”-1″>


<PARAM NAME=”AllowScriptAccess” VALUE=”always”> <PARAM NAME=”Scale” VALUE=”ShowAll”> <PARAM NAME=”DeviceFont” VALUE=”0″> <PARAM NAME=”EmbedMovie” VALUE=”0″> <PARAM NAME=”BGColor” VALUE=”FFFFFF”> <PARAM NAME=”SWRemote” VALUE=””> <PARAM NAME=”MovieData” VALUE=””> <PARAM NAME=”SeamlessTabbing” VALUE=”1″> <PARAM NAME=”Profile” VALUE=”0″> <PARAM NAME=”ProfileAddress” VALUE=””> <PARAM NAME=”ProfilePort” VALUE=”0″> <embed src=”http://www.importika.com/VS_teaposy.swf&#8221; quality=”high”

bgcolor=”#ffffff” width=”320″ height=”270″ name=”VS_teaposy” align=”middle”

allowScriptAccess=”always” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash”

pluginspage=”http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer&#8221; /> </OBJECT>

<!– End Teaposy video embed –>


Read Full Post »