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Experience the natural world with east central Illinois master naturalists
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Master Naturalist Photo Contest Winners

Posted by Bethany Semancik -

Roger Inman has won the Best in Show award in the third annual East Central Illinois Master Naturalist photo contest, with a picture of an unusual ice formation at Homer Lake. Other winners were Cathy Barnard in the Open Category, Kathy Rowland in the Mammal Category, Betsy Kuchinke in the Volunteers Category and James Long in the Fall/Winter Season Category.

Congratulations to all the winners. A gallery of all of the contest entries is on the Master Naturalist Website at The winners were chosen by the Communications Committee of the Advisory Board.

Inman calls his photo "Ice Kisses." It was taken on an inlet on the western shore of the lake around 4 p.m. on Feb. 1, 2013. "It looked like the water level had dropped several inches from the time the ice formations were created and when the picture was taken," Inman said. "It was the 'Hershey's Kisses' look about the ice as well as their reflection in the water that caught my attention."

Barnard's photo of a bee on an aster was taken on Aug. 27, 2015, at the Schuren Nursery in St. Joseph. "I work there part time," she said, "and I noticed it busily working. I had never seen a bee with its pollen sacks filled like that."



Rowland's photo of a squirrel with a nut in its mouth was taken in October 2012 in her backyard in Mattoon. "Our woods are home to MANY squirrels that help themselves to whatever natural bounty is available, and, of course, to whatever happens to be in or around the bird feeders," Rowland said. "Birds are my passion, but I'll shoot anything else that flies past my lens – or runs, walks, hops, swims, slithers or just sits there and does nothing more than be beautiful, interesting or otherwise photo-worthy. I just happened upon this little gray squirrel, doing what squirrels do, during one of my fall bird walks.

Kuchinke's photo is of Master Naturalist volunteer Jim Payne sitting atop a tall pile of cast-off tires collected at Embarras Bluffs along the Embarras River south of Charleston. The photo was taken in April 2008. Jim and Mare Payne are stewards at the site.


Long's photo of a backlit milkweed was taken on Nov. 15, 2013 at the Chautaqua National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is near Havana on the opposite side of the Illinois River from Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge.

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