I think northern Illinois is far superior to southern Illinois ;) -- My older brothers on the other hand beg to differ. Thanksgiving usually contains the annual hiking trip which turns into a tree/plant lesson (from the one counting the tree rings a few photos down). Other than being able to hike outside at the end of November in a light jacket, I think the snowy north is where it's at :)
I also have been working really hard on my in camera nailing settings. I have realized that it makes my life a whole lot easier to nail it in camera rather than having to spend forever editing. I also realized that I was relying too much on photoshop. I shoot in manual and I was basically not caring what my settings were because "I can just photoshop it later". Proud to say that the images below were barely even touched in PSE. I had to sharpen for web, and boost contrast. That's it. I am proud.