Thank you to everyone who entered our contest and reminded us how lovely our corner of paradise truly is!

Contest winners:

1st Place — Charlie Egli: Special Friends (photo on page 12)

2nd Place — Tiffany Misenko: Deer Family in the Misty Morning

3rd Place — Jesse Stein: Colorful, Cloudy Estero Bay Sunset

People’s Choice — Jim Matiya: Purple Passion Flower

Honorable mentions — Marie Hanaway, Joe Holtzman & Tim Smith

See all contest entries and finalists at!

Sandhill Crane and Baby at Harns Marsh Preserve (1st Place)


1st Place: Charlie Egli’s Sandhill Crane and Baby at Harns Marsh

Congratulations to Charlie Egli, winner of the Estero Life Magazine Photo Contest! As coronavirus was descending upon the nation in March 2020, Charlie enjoyed visiting with the sandhill cranes at Harns Marsh Preserve in Lehigh Acres, capturing this image that charmed our judges with his Canon 7D Mark II and a zoom lens. Here is what Charlie had to say about the peaceful scene he encountered:

 “Sandhill Cranes are very graceful birds, not very shy and proud of showing off their babies. One must maintain a certain distance; they will forcefully protect their babies! I found three nest sites at Harns Marsh, each at different stages. This baby is approximately one month old. The day I shot this image, I arrived at Harns Marsh at 9 a.m. and hiked 1 1/2 miles to their nesting area. The Sandhills were moving from the marsh to a feeding area.

 I am always amazed how the babies imitate their parents. If mom stretches and flaps her wings, baby does the same. The relationship between parent and baby is one of total trust. At this age, the baby is finding food on his on, but mom will still offers him a big, juicy bug every so often. You can tell by the baby’s reaction, he is thankful.

 After watching these birds, and other wildlife, I wish the human race would show love for each other as the Sandhill Cranes do. What a wonderful world this would be!”


Deer Family in the Misty Morning by Tiffany Misenko (2nd Place)

2nd Place_Tiffany Misenko_Deer family in the misty morning

2nd Place: Tiffany Misenko’s Deer family in the misty morning

“I took this in our backyard in Bella Terra. I was up before sunrise, reflecting on this new way of life in quarantine. As the sun came up, I saw a bunch of deer and grabbed my Nikon D-90. I went out, feet cold in the wet grass, and there was a mist coming up from the ground that gave a surreal quality to the whole scene. A baby deer was running and jumping around (like kids do!) between the 10 or 12 deer in the yard. He finally noticed me and ran over to a male, presumably his dad, and gave him a kiss on the nose. It was a perfect metaphor for quarantine. We, as a society, were all being forced to slow down, unplug, reconnect with nature. And in this slowdown, I found the time to connect with what’s really important: Family.”

3rd Place_Jesse Stein_Colorful, dark, cloudy Estero Bay sunset

3rd Place: Jesse Stein Colorful, dark, cloudy Estero Bay sunset


Colorful, Cloudy Estero Bay Sunset by Jesse Stein (3rd Place)

“This photo was taken on a bike ride to Estero Bay by the Pelican Landing/Coconut Point Hyatt boat dock. I did not choose this spot as much as it choose me. Beauty is all around us in the Estero area!”


Purple Passion Flower by Jim Matiya (People’s Choice)

People's Choice_Jim Matiya_Purple passion flower

People’s Choice: Jim Matiya’s Purple passion flower

I went to Six Mile Cypress Slough in early morning. I was leisurely walking near the Butterfly Garden when this beautiful flower caught my eye: a Purple Passion flower! As I was looking at the flower’s petals, the stamens and pistils, suddenly a Gulf Fritillary landed on the flower! Bingo! I couldn’t walk away without a photo. I ended up taking 14 pictures from different angles! The vibrant colors attract butterflies and photographers!



1 Comment

  1. Sharon Shrock on August 4, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    Congratulations Charlie on another great photo. And we look forward to more photos.
    The other photos in the contest were very nice too.