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Romeoville Man's Snail Snapshot Wins August's Portion of Photo Contest

Photo for: Romeoville Man

When Mark Hanna noticed a snail on the trail at Rock Run Rookery Preserve, and a bicyclist barreling down the path in the snail’s direction, the Romeoville resident couldn’t help but intervene. 

“I didn’t want it to get smooshed,” Hanna said of the moseying mollusk.

Hanna’s good deed was rewarded when a photo he snapped of the glistening snail and its shell won first place in August’s portion of the Forest Preserve District’s Preserve the Moment photo contest. 

“I moved it to safety and went back to my car and got my macro lens, hoping it would still be there,” Hanna said.

By the time Hanna retrieved the lens and chatted with another preserve patron, the snail had moved around four feet to a piece of rotted wood, and it was heading south toward the river. But Hanna was able to photograph the snail and its outstretched tentacles before it glided into the vegetation.

Hanna takes photos in many Will County preserves and he came in third in last year’s overall contest with a photo of a green heron.

“I’m retired, so I go somewhere every day,” he said of his hobby.

Honorable mentions for the month were awarded to:

  • Jack Woodard of Elwood for his clearwing hummingbird moth at Rock Run Preserve.
  • Greg Johnson of Bolingbrook for a dragonfly at Birds Junction Marsh.
  • Michelle Wendling of Joliet for a stunning sunset at Lake Renwick Preserve. 
  • Eileen Capodice of Minooka for a monarch butterfly at Rock Run Rookery Preserve. 

All of the contest's photo entries can be viewed on the District's Flickr page

Hanna’s photo will compete with eight other monthly finalists for overall honors after the contest concludes on December 31.

Contest participants may enter up to five digital photos per month. 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, which began April 1. 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. Entries not adhering to the rules will automatically be disqualified.

The Preserve the Moment photo contest is sponsored by The Nature Foundation of Will County.


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