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posted: 8/26/2011 1:00 AM

Images: Photo contest finalists

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This photo taken at Feather Sound near Bolingbrook Promenade of Sunflowers, a Japanese beetle, and Coneflower.
This photo taken at Feather Sound near Bolingbrook Promenade of Sunflowers, a Japanese beetle, and Coneflower.
Chris Hargreaves of Bolingbrook
An African Elephant enjoys a meal of Acacia branches at Tsavo West National Park in Kenya, Africa earlier this month.
An African Elephant enjoys a meal of Acacia branches at Tsavo West National Park in Kenya, Africa earlier this month.
Kimberly Kelly of Grayslake
A dragonfly on rests on a stick at Volo Bog State Natural Area last month.
A dragonfly on rests on a stick at Volo Bog State Natural Area last month.
Viveca Skyles of Lakemoore
Cooling off at a public water fountain while on vacation this month in Rome, Italy, a little girl from Elk Grove Village laughs as she learns that when you plug the water pipe with your finger, the water shoots out from a hole in the top of the pipe.
Cooling off at a public water fountain while on vacation this month in Rome, Italy, a little girl from Elk Grove Village laughs as she learns that when you plug the water pipe with your finger, the water shoots out from a hole in the top of the pipe.
Jim Pavletich of Elk Grove Village
A hummingbird flies away from the feeder at Crab Tree Park in Barrington earlier this month.
A hummingbird flies away from the feeder at Crab Tree Park in Barrington earlier this month.
Tracy R Sefcik of Wheeling
An eager little bud sprouts to life in a Schaumburg backyard.
An eager little bud sprouts to life in a Schaumburg backyard.
Christina Pawlak of Schaumburg
Going Nowhere Fast. This is a long exposure, 15-20 seconds at f: 22 of evening traffic on I 88 approaching the Naperville exit.
Going Nowhere Fast. This is a long exposure, 15-20 seconds at f: 22 of evening traffic on I 88 approaching the Naperville exit.
David Neesley of Naperville
I took this photo of water drops on tree foliage at Cantigny on French Connection Day after I had finished photographing the Eiffel Tower. I used a macro lens to capture the crisp detail of the water beads, and I stood behind the leaves so that I could get the background to be the clear gray color that it is.
I took this photo of water drops on tree foliage at Cantigny on French Connection Day after I had finished photographing the Eiffel Tower. I used a macro lens to capture the crisp detail of the water beads, and I stood behind the leaves so that I could get the background to be the clear gray color that it is.
Angela Cichosz of Carol Stream
A vivid orange flower resembles a pinwheel spinning through the wind at the Chicago Botanical Garden in early June.
A vivid orange flower resembles a pinwheel spinning through the wind at the Chicago Botanical Garden in early June.
Jeff Farinosi of Vernon Hills
This photo is of the Eiffel Tower in Paris during a visit in October, 2007. The light displays on the tower were like a fireworks show on the 4th of July. Paris is a wonderful large city to visit and I recommend it for everyone.
This photo is of the Eiffel Tower in Paris during a visit in October, 2007. The light displays on the tower were like a fireworks show on the 4th of July. Paris is a wonderful large city to visit and I recommend it for everyone.
Michael J. Clemens of Saint Charles
This hawk was guarding an old windmill as I took an early morning hike in the Santa Monica Mountains near Thousand Oaks, California. I cropped in close to accentuate the hawk and the windmill machinery detail.
This hawk was guarding an old windmill as I took an early morning hike in the Santa Monica Mountains near Thousand Oaks, California. I cropped in close to accentuate the hawk and the windmill machinery detail.
Robert Sharp of Gilberts
A dragonfly lands on top of an unopened water lily bud at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
A dragonfly lands on top of an unopened water lily bud at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Susan Birr of Carpentersville

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