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Doe-Eyed Deer Wins October's Photo Contest

Photo for: Doe-Eyed Deer Wins October

Photo courtesy of Frank Rink

Shorewood resident Frank Rink’s photo of a deer nestled in the woods won October’s portion of the Forest Preserve District’s Preserve the Moment photo contest.

Judges were impressed with the photo’s details, including the deer’s outstretched ears, sublime expression and the surrounding fall foliage. The shot was taken at Rock Run Rookery Preserve in Joliet. 

Rink said he arrived early for a Joliet Junior College nature photography class field trip when he spied two young deer in the bushes.

"This was early morning and I was lucky to get the shot," he said of the winning photo. "I've always loved animals and I'm always very careful. I let them come to me. Often, it's more of a waiting game."

Rink has been taking photos for around six or seven years, and he has been discovering all that the Forest Preserve District has to offer since he moved to Shorewood around 18 months ago with his wife. 

"Thank you for providing all of these opportunities," he said of the preserves and trails near his home.

Honorable mentions for October were awarded to: 

  • Eileen Capodice of Minooka for a photo of a snowy white egret and its reflection in dark water at McKinley Woods in Channahon.
  • Jim Saldana of Joliet for a photo of a stand of trees bathed in golden light at Hammel Woods in Shorewood.
  • Jennifer Gabrenya of Romeoville for her photo of a pink-and-purple sunset at Lake Renwick Preserve in Plainfield. 
  • Mark Hanna of Romeoville for three pelicans roosting in a row at Rock Run Rookery.
  • Vicki Russell of Dyer, Ind., for a picturesque photo of colorful fall foliage reflected in water at Theodore Marsh. 

Rink’s photo will compete with eight other monthly finalists for overall honors after the contest concludes on December 31. The top three finishers will be determined by voting at

The overall winners will receive MasterCard gift cards worth $500 for first place, $250 for second place and $150 for third place. Monthly winners receive $75 gift cards. The photo contest is sponsored by The Nature Foundation of Will County.

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.


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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