Prairie in Autumn Continued

Friend and volunteer of STPS Fidencio Marbella continues to capture the beauty of Wolf Road Prairie in the Fall.  You can see these great sights too! Put on a sweater and some sturdy shoes and enjoy the flora and fauna of the prairie in Autumn!


Prairie in Autumn

If you haven’t visited Wolf Road Prairie lately, you’re missing out on the beautiful Fall colors and hustle and bustle of animals preparing for winter. Check out the latest photos from STPS resident photographer Fidencio Marbella capturing the prairie in September.


Photos courtesy of Fidencio Marbella

Prairie in the Mist

STPS President Lawrence Godson rose early before dawn to take these amazing photos of a fog enveloped Wolf Road Prairie.  Check them out!


August at Wolf Road Prairie

STPS resident photographer Fidencio Marbella of the Westchester Library captures the flora and fauna of Wolf Road Prairie in the late summer.

Can you believe this extraordinary display of wildlife resides in the suburbs of Chicago?  You don’t have to travel thousands of miles to enjoy nature, just step outside and see it for yourself!

If you value local wildlife and natural habitats consider helping us in our mission by clicking here.

Photos courtesy of

Fidencio Marbella


See What’s in Bloom this Holiday Weekend

Looking for something to do this holiday weekend?  Walk the trails at Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve, one of America’s many protected public lands, and see beautiful prairie flowers in bloom!  Below is just a sampling of the flora you can find right now at Wolf Road Prairie.


Photographs by Fidencio Marbella

Artist Spotlight: Todd Bannor


If it seems like photographer Todd Bannor knows quite a bit about his natural subjects, there is a reason. Todd has both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in general and molecular biology. Todd has been interested in the natural world, both on a large and small scale since he was very young.

Growing up, he was fortunate to have parents who were both teachers and who encouraged his curiosity. Vacations were spent travelling throughout the country and, on one occasion, to East Africa.

When he was ten, Todd was given an instamatic camera, which started him down his photographic path. Upon graduation from college, he was given a very nice 35mm camera with which he became very proficient. The old graduation present sits in an honored place on a shelf these days, since Todd finds modern autofocus equipment to be well worth the investment.

Todd has several framed prints on display at Earth Works Gallery at 500 N Michigan Avenue in Chicago. The current exhibit includes both landscape and wildlife images. Earth Works will also be displaying prints of Todd’s prairie images starting in October 2000. Unframed prints are also available.

Being a versatile photographer, Todd is not limited to nature work. Many of his images of healthcare and biotechnology research have been published in textbooks and magazines. An image of an Asian longhorn beetle, shot on a visit to Ravenswood, his boyhood neighborhood in Chicago, appeared in Business Week last year. An image of laboratory apparatus appeared recently in an article about biotechnology, also in Business Week.

Todd also builds and images models of molecules, both on the computer and on his dining room table. Images of these have also found their way into several publications. His most recent project was to build a three-dimensional model of mifepristone, a drug recently approved by the FDA. This model was photographed both digitally and conventionally and the images are now available through Todd’s stock agent in Chicago.

Gardening is another of Todd’s interests. His backyard is filled with native prairie and woodland plant species. A small two-tiered pond holds goldfish and an occasional bathing (or fishing) raccoon.

Todd lives with his wife and two cats in Oak Park, Illinois. As for photographing his cats, Todd has found that they really don’t like a flash going off in their faces. If you would like more information, please feel free to contact Todd at

Working in Nature

It’s been said that every picture tells a story and I try to bring this to my photography. I like to make my nature photographs more than just pretty pictures. With my scientific background, I feel that it is important to educate people about the natural world around us, before ignorance and ambivalence destroy that world.

The more people become informed, the less we will have to worry about the natural world’s existence when our grandchildren walk the planet. Additionally, in our time, the less we’ll have to put up with insults, like trash being thrown out of passing cars or places like Wolf Road Prairie being continually threatened by those who should know better.

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Artist Spotlight: Dan J. Huske

Dan J. Huske

Working in Nature

Wolf Road Prairie is an ideal place to photograph butterflies. The season begins in mid-July and peaks around the Labor Day weekend with the Monarch migration. Most butterflies like bright sunsine and warm temperatures to be active. I have discovered the best time to photograph is from noon to 3 PM, and I return to Wolf Road Prairie frequently to add to my extensive butterfly slide collection.

My equipment of choice is a Canon F-1 with motor winder, a Canon FD 100 mm macro F/4 lens, Quantum instruments for flash lighting and Kodak E-100 film. I use an exposure setting of 1/90 sec. @ F32 and image magnification of 0.5 x or 48 mm x 72 mm.

The colorations and markings of butterflies have always fascinated me. I find it well worth the many hours, patience and respect required to capture their fragility, grace and beauty on film.

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Artist Spotlight: Anthony Scarlati

Anthony Scarlati

A Photographer’s Philosophy

“If one of my photographs captures your eye and compels you to stare at it a while and either takes you away to a different place or makes you feel good inside, I’ve achieved my goal as a photographer.”

Tony was a devoted amateur photographer until one of his exhibits at a Save the Prairie Society event launched his professional career. He was approached to photograph horses, and now his career takes him around the country on photo shoots for such publications as Saddle and Bridle and Horse World. He also shoots free lance for Liberty Press.

His nature photographs are currently on exhibit at Richmond Saddlery and Nature Arts.

Tony shoots on rolls of film, rather than slides, because he can enlarge his prints with greater success for the portraits his clients prefer.

Tony can be reached at 630-322-9815

The photos in this exhibit were taken at Wolf Road Prairie.

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Artist Spotlight: Mike MacDonald

Mike MacDonald is making a name for himself, not by traveling and recording the world’s most exotic places, but by creating stunning images of the natural beauty near his Chicago area home. Mike is capable of finding a wealth of beauty in the simplest and most everyday of subjects without having to travel to every corner of the earth.

With degrees in mathematics and physics combined with careers as a scientific programmer, professional comedian, and entrepreneur, Mike brings an uncommon assortment of left and right brain functions to his photography.

His first submission ever landed his images and story in the prestigious national magazine, Outdoor Photographer. Since that time, Mike’s work has been published extensively, including Petersen’s Photographic and, from cover to cover, in Chicago Wilderness Magazine. In 1999, the book American Vision featured Mike as one of America’s top new nature and wildlife photographers.

Though he has a very lively and entertaining personality, Mike exhibits extraordinary patience and tenacity when creating his images. Spending several uneventful hours in his wildlife blind kneeling waste-deep in water or waiting an hour-and-a-half for a cloud to pass perfectly into position are quite common experiences.

This patience, hard work, and attention to detail and simplicity is revealed in photographs that are often compared to paintings. Just as paintings depict a perfect moment from the heart and imagination of the artist, a Mike MacDonald photograph communicates the perfection and emotion of a real life moment in time.

With zen-like simplicity, Mike’s images speak passionately for his love of the natural world.

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