A weathered bluebird house and its fine-feathered occupant won the November portion of the Forest Preserve District's Preserve the Moment photo contest.
The photo of an Eastern bluebird in midflight leaving its home was taken by Frankfort resident Michael Fagan at Hickory Creek Preserve. Fagan said he lives just a few miles from the preserve and he loves taking photos of wildlife, plants and landscapes on his walks. He snapped the bluebird house photo at Hickory Creek – La Porte Road Access.
"While walking the grass path east of the pavilion, I noticed a flock of Eastern bluebirds visiting the birdhouses," he said in an email. "I was able to slowly get pretty close to the houses. After waiting awhile, the birds returned. I was then able to get a few good photos. The bluebird taking flight was the best."
November's photo contest category was structures, so any man-made structure located in a preserve was fair game.
Photos that earned honorable mention were taken by: Brian Keller of Joliet for a Rock Run Preserve bridge railing with deep orange hues and contrasting shadows; Janet Keller of Joliet for a leaf-strewn walkway with splotches of sunlight at Hammel Woods; John D'Agostino of Homer Glen for the Isle a la Cache's Native American longhouse nestled in nature; and Chuck Medrano of Mokena for the sun peeking through a beam on the Centennial Trail Bridge.
VIEW THE FINALISTS AND OTHER ENTRIES ON FLICKR
Only one more month remains in the contest. December's category is open, so any type of photo can be submitted, as long as it was taken in a Will County forest preserve after the contest began on May 1. One winner will be chosen after the December 31 deadline and that entry will join the seven monthly winners that have been chosen since the contest began.
Once the 2017 contest concludes on December 31, all eight monthly winners will compete for top honors via public voting on the District's Facebook page. The top three vote-getters will win prizes: a messenger-style bag for first place, a digital photo frame for second place and a Michaels gift card for third place. All who enter will receive a participation gift.
SUBMIT PHOTOS FOR DECEMBER'S CONTEST
Participants may enter up to five color digital photos per month in .jpg or .gif formats of up to 4 MB in size. All photos must be uploaded via the District’s contest upload page. Be sure to fill out all of the required categories, including the date and location the photo was taken.
Photos must be taken by amateur photographers age 18 or older, and they must be snapped in a Will County forest preserve during the contest period. For instance, pictures taken at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, which is owned by the U.S. Forest Service, and Pilcher Park, which is a City of Joliet park, will not qualify for the contest. For a list of all Forest Preserve locations, check out the District's preserve page and be sure to read the contest rules before entering.
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