The winning images of our weekly photo contest

 
 
Updated 3/10/2018 8:17 AM
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This past winter, I visited the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL. While walking around Meadow Lake, I was attracted to these backlit thistle plants lining the lake's edge. This close-up shows a few thistles surrounded by out-of-focus highlights from the lake water, which turned the photo into an abstract pattern of shadow and highlight.
This past winter, I visited the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL. While walking around Meadow Lake, I was attracted to these backlit thistle plants lining the lake's edge. This close-up shows a few thistles surrounded by out-of-focus highlights from the lake water, which turned the photo into an abstract pattern of shadow and highlight.
Mike Weimer of St. Charles
With unseasonably springtime temperatures, a flock of sparrows eat at a bird feeder in a Lake Zurich backyard on February 28.
With unseasonably springtime temperatures, a flock of sparrows eat at a bird feeder in a Lake Zurich backyard on February 28.
Cindy Spudich of Lake Zurich
An American flag waves during a beautiful, tranquil sunset Tuesday.
An American flag waves during a beautiful, tranquil sunset Tuesday.
Kristina A. Govorovska of Lake Zurich
A palm tree sways in the wind at sunrise in Punta Cana on February 19th.
A palm tree sways in the wind at sunrise in Punta Cana on February 19th.
Mark Peschke of Gurnee
Breydon Hemminger of the Chicago Cougars, left, and Scott Wargin of the Decatur Blaze chase the puck during a playoff game on March 2 at the Leafs Ice Centre in West Dundee. The teams play in the U.S. Premier Hockey League.
Breydon Hemminger of the Chicago Cougars, left, and Scott Wargin of the Decatur Blaze chase the puck during a playoff game on March 2 at the Leafs Ice Centre in West Dundee. The teams play in the U.S. Premier Hockey League.
Beverly Buchinger of Hoffman Estates
An orchid blooms in a beautiful hue of purple with thousands of other beauties at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe during the display last month.
An orchid blooms in a beautiful hue of purple with thousands of other beauties at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe during the display last month.
Lynne Solway of Buffalo Grove
A heron walks in a lake at the Morikami Japanese Gardens in Palm Beach County, Florida last month.
A heron walks in a lake at the Morikami Japanese Gardens in Palm Beach County, Florida last month.
Charlene Comin of Buffalo Grove
I thought these winter mushrooms brought somebeauty during our recent snow. I took the photo at the Graue Mill in Oakbrook.
I thought these winter mushrooms brought somebeauty during our recent snow. I took the photo at the Graue Mill in Oakbrook.
Todd A. Sherlock of Downers Grove
The Windmill at Fabyan Forest Preserve in Geneva. I really enjoyed walking through the forest with my husband and my son. The day was cloudy and cold, but it was nice to walk there and connect with nature.
The Windmill at Fabyan Forest Preserve in Geneva. I really enjoyed walking through the forest with my husband and my son. The day was cloudy and cold, but it was nice to walk there and connect with nature.
Aline Thurler Rondon Moller of Naperville
The photo was taken on our vacation this past January. The very picturesque Banyan Tree trunk was taken at an outdoor restaurant, at a state nature preserve or at theinternationally-known Mote Aquarium in the Sarasota area.
The photo was taken on our vacation this past January. The very picturesque Banyan Tree trunk was taken at an outdoor restaurant, at a state nature preserve or at theinternationally-known Mote Aquarium in the Sarasota area.
Allen Panek of Naperville
I took this photo Sunday morning, Feb 18, the result of Saturday's snowfall.   The accumulation of snow on the trees was beautiful, as seen on this pine. Mother Nature is an artist.
I took this photo Sunday morning, Feb 18, the result of Saturday's snowfall. The accumulation of snow on the trees was beautiful, as seen on this pine. Mother Nature is an artist.
Marilyn Estes of Dundee
I always anticipate the Spring migration of the Bald Eagles. These two were taken on the Black River near Onalaska, WI. A combination of a warm water discharge, and a Gizzard Shad die-off, has led to dozens of eagles fishing in a very accessible area.
I always anticipate the Spring migration of the Bald Eagles. These two were taken on the Black River near Onalaska, WI. A combination of a warm water discharge, and a Gizzard Shad die-off, has led to dozens of eagles fishing in a very accessible area.
Bill Geister of Dundee
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