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This Month's Photo Contest Assignment: Fungus Among Us

Photo for: This Month

Photo courtesy of Kevin Keyes

The Preserve the Moment Photo Contest has passed the halfway point and, for September, your assignment is simple: Look down low and find that perfectly freaky fungus to photograph. 

Whether it's the alien-looking Old Man of the Woods (pictured above), some magnificent Chicken of the Woods or the more common Turkey Tail, there are ample opportunities to hit some woodland trails and see what you can find. Just keep your fingers crossed for some rain in the near future to encourage more activity to sprout up.

Unlike a previous month where the task was wildlife and most likely would require a camera with a decent lens to take the perfect shot, the fungus category is tailor-made for those with a smartphone. There's no risk of the subject scattering when you approach to get some great detail shots.

For a contest submission to be valid, it must have been taken within the contest period, which began on May 1, so keep that in mind when going through and deleting photos off your camera or phone. Even if you can't submit it in the current month, it could have future possibilities.

The full list of categories for the remainder of the contest are:

  • September, fungus
  • October, fall colors
  • November, structures
  • December, open category (any photos from within the District's preserves can be submitted)

In need of a little inspiration? Check out our Instagram and Flickr pages.

Enter photos by midnight on the last day of each month through December 31. Monthly winners will be chosen by a panel of judges who will assess photo submissions based on focus, lighting, composition, impact, creativity and storytelling. Eight monthly winners will then compete for votes in January 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.

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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