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Here Comes the Sun: Tranquil Sunrise Photo Wins July Photo Contest

Photo for: Here Comes the Sun: Tranquil Sunrise Photo Wins  July Photo Contest

A Crete man's photo of the rising sun peeking through an oak tree's branches at Hickory Creek Preserve won July’s portion of the Forest Preserve District’s Preserve the Moment photo contest.

The tranquil and inviting forest setting, soft colors and pleasing composition showcase the beauty of nature and its calming and healing powers.

The photo was taken by Byron Morgan who saw the scene in June, but returned in July to get the perfect shot.

"This is a picture taken shortly after sunrise just before the first parking area as you go into the Hickory Creek Preserve at the LaPorte Road access," he wrote in an email after being notified of his win. "I found this beautiful scene on June 12, but I did not think my pictures that day did it justice. I went back on sunny July 5 to try again, and I'm glad I did. I never think my landscape pics are as good as the scene looks in person, but that doesn't stop me from trying."

Morgan said he has loved nature and photography all his life. 

"I have been entering Will County's photo contest since I found out about it two and a half years ago," he added. "Will County has so many beautiful preserves." 

Morgan also won an honorable mention in July for a photo of a northern flicker flashing its golden wing at Hammel Woods.

Other honorable mentions were awarded to:

  • Joe Viola of Shorewood for baby barn swallows bawling for food at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon.
  • Amy Miller of Joliet for an upside-down Baltimore oriole at Rock Run Preserve in Joliet.
  • Maura Carlisle of Plainfield for a young barred owl enjoying a meal at McKinley Woods in Channahon.
  • Eileen Capodice of Minooka for a painted turtle chilling out at Rock Run Rookery in Joliet.
  • All photo contest entries can be viewed on the District’s Flickr page

The Forest Preserve's sixth annual Preserve the Moment photo contest began May 1 and it runs through December 31. Winners will be chosen monthly and eight finalists' photos will vie for top honors in January via public voting on the District's Facebook page. The contest showcases the beauty of Will County preserves and the flora and fauna they protect.

Every entrant will receive a participation gift, monthly winners will each receive a $75 Visa gift card, and overall contest winners will receive Visa gift cards in these amounts: first place, $500; second place, $250; and third place, $150. Photo contest prizes are funded by The Nature Foundation of Will County.

Photos must be taken by amateur photographers age 18 or older, and they must be snapped in a Will County forest preserve on or after the contest start date.

Please read all contest rules and photo upload instructions before entering the contest.


Stay up-to-date on the happenings in Will County's forest preserves by subscribing to The Citizen, our weekly digital newsletter that provides subscribers with updates on Forest Preserve news, upcoming events, and other fun and useful information for the whole family. If you're only interested in programs, subscribe to The Weekly Five, which outlines the five must-do programs each week. Signing up for either newsletter is easy and free of charge.


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