A pond teeming with wildlife on a beautiful summer morning proved to be a winning combination for Jon Flodstrom of Frankfort, who won June’s portion of the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Preserve the Moment photo contest.
Normally, the pond's dragonflies flit away from him as he tries to take their photos. But on one particular morning a few weeks ago, he timed it just right to get a shot of a “docile” widow skimmer dragonfly perched on a branch near a pond in Hickory Creek Preserve.
Flodstrom, a retired carpenter who specialized in museum work, said he and his wife, Sussana, bike about 20 miles a day on local trails.
They often rest at the picturesque pond so they can observe all of the bullfrogs, turtles, snakes and other wildlife that hang around the local watering hole.
On the day he took his winning shot, Flodstrom said he thinks he timed it just right, arriving between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. when the dragonflies were still a bit sleepy.
“They were a little more patient than normal,” he said in a news release from the district. “So, I was able to grab my iPhone and slowly approach him without him taking off. I have a nice Canon 7D but sometimes it’s not the best choice. I was able to get within a foot of him for this picture.”
Insects are hard to photograph because they move around quite a bit, so Flodstrom said he was thrilled to get the winning widow skimmer shot, and he said he’s happy to live so close to so many beautiful natural areas.
He explained that the preserve and pond are a welcome relief during a time when he and his wife are traveling less and sticking closer to home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Honorable mention photos chosen for June were:
• Mark Hanna of Romeoville for a striking photo of a state-endangered osprey at Lockport Prairie.
• Michelle Wendling of Joliet for a shot of a sea of wild geraniums at Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve.
• Michael Daley of Lemont for a photo of a painted turtle doing the twist at Lower Rock Run Preserve.
Flodstrom is the second monthly winner in the 2020 photo contest. Six more monthly winners will be chosen by a panel of judges before the contest concludes on Dec. 31. In January, all eight monthly winners will vie for top honors via public voting on the District’s Facebook page
All of June's photo contest entries are posted Flickr.com/WillCoForests.
For more information about the contest, including guidelines and prizes, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.