GALENA, ILLINOIS EXPLORATIONS, 2016

DSCF8865

Galena’s Railway Station

July 5, 2016

Galena, Illinois became the destination of a girl’s getaway weekend this past May.  Other than hearing how old, picturesque and quaint the town was, we knew little about it and we were delightfully impressed.    Galena is rich in history and architectural beauty with  85 % of the buildings in a National Register Historic District.   Organized in 1826, the town of Galena quickly became  a hub for lead mining and shipping along the Mississippi River from the Galena River.   In 1845 Galena shipped a record 54,494,850 pounds of lead.    By the 1850’s Galena was the busiest port between St. Paul and St. Louis with sometimes  fifteen steamboats  docked along Water Street at one time.

As for the  political side of Galena’s  history, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas both spoke from the balcony of the DeSoto House Hotel.   In  1860, Ulysses S. Grant came  from  St. Louis to work in his father’s leather goods store.   Grant  met  many politically influential  people and subsequently was  named  a General in the Civil War.   When Grant  triumphantly  returned  from the  War in 1865 , he was given a fine furnished  home on  as a token of the town’s gratitude.    Now an  historic site, it is  open to the public.

In 1848 at the start of the  California Gold Rush,  the lead mining industry  began to decline and  Galena  population began to decline also.   Today, Galena  is a tourist destination known for its history, architecture,  shopping and resorts.   The following photos are a mere sampling of what there is to do and see in Galena…

DSCF8877

Grant’s home stands behind the statue of Julia Dent Grant.

DSCF8908

A room full of Grant memorabilia  can be seen in the Galena Welcome Center.

DSCF8945

Grants Park sits overlooking the Galena River – an  inviting spot to sit-a-spell.

DSCF8912

Downtown is very  walkable and full of shops and restaurants.

DSCF8920

To see more of Galena,, the trolley tour is relaxing , interesting and entertaining all in one.  Also a terrific way to see the  town but avoid walking  the very  hilly terrain.

DSCF8899

Taken from the trolley window, this is a great example of hills and staircases.

DSCF8900

This Guest House is another example – imagine carrying your suitcase up those stairs….

DSCF8863

Along the banks of the Galena River, there are  beautiful , peaceful places to  enjoy the scenery and  nature .

DSCF8949

DSCF8947

Or a great walking path to explore.

DSCF8883

Galena has one majestic  home after another – there was no end to the beautiful historic homes.

DSCF8933

of all sizes

DSCF8931

The Belvedere Home, built in 1857,  has 22 rooms and  is open to the public for tours.  Sadly, the day were there, it had not opened yet for the season.

DSCF8896 (2)

The condo we rented backed up  to some woods and had a convenient  patio railing where I could sprinkle the bird seed  I brought.   ( Yes, I do travel with bird seed – was there any doubt?)

DSCF8897

And look what I attracted…….

DSCF8841

an Eastern Bluebird…

DSCF8846

and an Oriole !!!!!

(There are many orioles –  I think this is a Scott’s Oriole)

Thanks for reading and safe travels !!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

BIGGEST SURPRISE SO FAR at my FEEDER

DSCF9378

July 4, 2016

How fitting that on Independence Day, along with  the day before,  I had a very  surprising bird  come to feed  – so much so, that at first I thought I was seeing things.   Most likely, an escaped pet parakeet that has, so far,  adapted very well to life on the run.   He made himself very acquainted with my back yard – checking out  the bird houses, all of which are ” full-no vacancy”, the other feeders- though the bell seed is the favorite, sitting on my fence railing ,  flag post and my patio chair.  If he would come to me, I would gladly give him a good home, but even though I can get fairly close to him, he has made it clear, he has no intentions of being caught.   I can accept those conditions and hope he continues to visit and hang out in my yard.

DSCF9391

HERE

DSCF8740

A white crowned sparrow  was also  new to my yard this spring.

DSCF8759

The newest resident in my wren house…..

DSCF8714

who, along with his mate,  finds many places to sit and guard their new home.

I have been scolded many times for getting too close to their chirping  babies.

DSCF9025

Speaking of babies – this one looks old enough to move out…

DSCF9333

This juvenile cardinal  has a  2-tone beak – I love to watch their adult colors emerge.

DSCF8977

Two recently fledged Red Tail Hawks  hang out frequently near the nest in my back yard pine.

DSCF9176

or sit on the fence and stare at me.

pretty

Lastly these finch were kind enough to pose for  photos with my spring iris.

DSCF8690

DSCF8700

“my favorite weather is bird chirping weather”  (Terri Guillemets)

Hope you enjoyed!   Thanks for reading!!

 

 

%d bloggers like this: