Charming chipmunk wins October’s portion of Forest Preserve photo contest

Rockdale resident Antonio Joseph’s close-up photo of a chipmunk won October’s portion of the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Preserve the Moment Photo Contest.

The charming chipmunk at Hammel Woods in Shorewood appears to be looking off in the distance in the photo, perhaps worrying about the coming winter. The close-up view shows off the chipmunk’s whiskers, sunlit ear, and back paws and nails ready to dig in and make a run for it if need be.

Joseph said he is still new to photography. “I bought my equipment for video and then found myself doing this (photo),” he said in an email after being notified of his win. “I’ve only been doing this for the past month.”

He said he needed a zoom lens to get the close-up view that he wanted. “I was able to catch him with the zoom lens I just bought,” Joseph said. “Luckily I have a 600mm lens so I was able to get that close shot.”

Honorable mentions for October were awarded to:

  • Eileen Capodice of Minooka for a silhouette of a pelican in flight against an orange sky at McKinley Woods in Channahon.
  • Timothy McGrath of Crest Hill for Canada geese flying in formation at Lake Renwick Preserve in Plainfield.
  • Bertrand Leclercq of Naperville for a swirling great blue heron at Rock Run Rookery in Joliet.
  • Byron Morgan of Crete for two bullfrogs and a painted turtle sharing a stump at Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve.

All photo contest entries can be viewed at The contest will continue with monthly winners through December. Monthly winners will vie for overall contest honors in January 2022 via public voting on the District’s Facebook page.

Entrants receive a participation gift, monthly winners receive a $75 Visa gift card, and overall contest winners will receive gift cards of $500 for first place; $250 for second place; and $150 for third place. Prizes are funded by The Nature Foundation of Will County.

Photos must be taken by amateur photographers age 18 or older, and they must be snapped in a Will County forest preserve on or after the contest start date. For more information, visit