High quality data are presented of neutral hydrogen emission and absorption in the fields of eleven of the nearest spiral galaxies. Multi-configuration VLA observations have provided angular resolution of 6 arcsec (corresponding to about 100pc at the average galaxy distance of 3.5Mpc) and velocity resolution of 6km/s, while accurately recovering the total line flux detected previously with filled apertures. Previous experience suggests that this physical resolution is sufficient to at least marginally resolve the HI super-cloud population which delineates regions of active star formation. A high brightness filamentary network of HI super-clouds is seen in each galaxy. Emission brightness temperatures in excess of 200 Kelvin are sometimes detected at large radii, even in relatively face-on systems. All galaxies display a systematic increase in the observed brightness temperature of super-clouds with radius, followed by a flattening and subsequent decline. In the few instances where background continuum sources allow detection of HI absorption, the indicative spin temperatures are consistent with the super-cloud brightness temperature seen in emission at similar radii. These data suggest substantial opacity of the HI in the super-cloud network.
galaxies: ISM - galaxies: kinematics and dynamics - galaxies: spiral - radio lines: galaxies