Mink photo wins June Forest Preserve contest

Lemont resident Mike Daley’s photo of a mink perched on a log along Centennial Trail in Romeoville won the June portion of the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s 2018 Preserve the Moment photo contest, which runs through Dec. 31[]

Lemont residents Mike and Tammy Daley were seeking warblers during a walk on the Centennial Trail in June when the couple spotted a rare treat, a mink scratching itself on a log in the water.

Mike’s photo of the mink won June’s portion of the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Preserve the Moment photo contest. Contest judges loved the lighting, which showed the creature’s wet coat in detail, and the contrast of the luxurious fur against the rumpled bark of the log.

Daley said he and his wife have been walking the Romeoville trail for 20 years and they love searching for wildlife along the path.

“I’m the photographer and my wife is usually the locator,” Daley said.

Judges also awarded four honorable mentions to: Mark Hanna of Romeoville for his photo of two snakes slithering through the grass at Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve in Lockport Township; Dan Moore of Park Forest for shafts of sunlight streaking through the forest canopy at Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve in Park Forest; Peggy McGraw of Beecher for a dragonfly gently resting on a flower at Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve in Crete Township; and last month’s winner, Joseph Traina of Joliet, for a deer licking its chops at Rock Run Preserve in Joliet.

All of the June entries can be viewed on the district’s Flickr page,

Daley’s photo is the second of eight monthly finalists that will be chosen by a panel of judges before the contest concludes Dec. 31. In January 2019, the monthly finalists will be entered into the overall contest, which will be judged by online voting via the District’s Facebook page,

To be eligible, photos must be taken by amateur photographers over the age of 18 in a Will County forest preserve or on a District trail during the contest time period. For a complete set of rules and prizes, visit