INGLESIDE – The 12 winners of Volo Bog State Natural Area’s 34th annual Nature Photo Contest were announced Jan. 10.
Ribbons and plaques were presented to each photographer, who was allowed up to three guests in order to be compliant with COVID-19 safety protocols at the site.
The presentations were livestreamed on the Friends of Volo Bog’s Facebook page, and still may be viewed there. The annual competition is presented each year by Volo Bog State Natural Area, the Friends of Volo Bog and the ShutterBugs of Volo Bog.
179 entries submitted by 21 photographers were entered in eight categories. Visitors to the State Natural Area from Oct. 24 to Jan. 8 were asked to vote for their favorite in each category and for an overall favorite.
First-, second- and third-place ribbons were awarded to the top vote recipients in each category.
A plaque was awarded to first-place winners in each category, as well as to the two Bests of Show – the Peoples’ Choice Award and Judges’ Award.
Here are the categories and award winners:
First: Michael Schmitt of Grayslake for “Pileated Woodpecker Feeds Her Young”
Second: Ken Olsen of Palatine for “Peekaboo”
Third: Joe Norton of Huntley for “Peekaboo – Great Horned Owlet”
Black and white animal
First: Michael Schmitt of Grayslake for “Wood Duck Reflections”
Second: Stacey Greenhill of Wheeling for “Barn Owl”
Third: Sari Nienaber of Lexington, Kentucky, for “Time for a Manicure”
People and pets in nature
First: Stacey Greenhill of Wheeling for “Double Vision”
Second: Anthony Roma of Gurnee for “Overlooking the Valley”
Third: Jessica Lanners of Antioch for “Caught It!”
First: Deanna Moran of Fox River Grove for “Lily Pad Seed Pod”
Second: John Berwanger of Winnetka for “Copper River”
Third: Deanna Moran of Fox River Grove for “Milkweed”
First: Deanna Moran of Fox River Grove for “I Spy Fall”
Second: Carl Stineman of Vernon Hills for “Painted Rocks Arch”
Third: Kelly Kuningas of Crystal Lake for “Sunset on Lake Michigan”
Beyond the Midwest
First: Sari Nienaber of Lexington, Kentucky, for “Crater Lake Sunrise, Kelimutu Nature Preserve”
Second: Joseph Norton of Huntley for “Cheetah Cubs in Maasai Mara, Kenya”
Third: Joseph Norton of Huntley for “Lion Cubs in Mud”
Black and white plant/landscape
First: Brandie Dunn of Johnsburg for “Neowise Over the Straits of Mackinac”
Second: Anthony Roma of Gurnee for “Lake in the Woods”
Third: John Berwanger of Winnetka for “Big Bog Lake”
First: John Berwanger of Winnetka for “Hummingbird Moth Feeding on a Milkweed”
Second: Michael Schmitt of Grayslake for “Honeybee on Virginia Spiderwort”
Third: Kelly Kuningas of Crystal Lake for “Monarchs on Spiderwort”
The winning photos will be on display at Volo Bog State Natural Area through March 20. They are available for viewing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
The winning photos also can be found on the Friends of Volo Bog’s Facebook page.
Volo Bog State Natural Area’s annual Nature Photo Contest runs from mid-October through the Friday preceding the second (or occasionally the third) Sunday each January, when under “normal” times, WinterFest is celebrated. Entry forms become available each September. Email email@example.com to ask for information about the contest.
The Friends of Volo Bog is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) membership organization. Visit www.FriendsofVoloBog.org.
The ShutterBugs of Volo Bog meet at 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month in the Volo Bog Visitor Center. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they are meeting via Zoom. Visit www.ShutterBugsofVoloBog.com.