Photo Contest: Hopkinton Photographer Named 2023 Grand Prize Winner
January 09, 2024
Mass Audubon’s statewide photography contest, Picture This: Your Great Outdoors, annually attracts people from all backgrounds and experiences who have been increasingly drawn to the natural world for its solace, beauty, and wonder.
The 2023 contest was no exception, as more than 5,000 images were submitted by hundreds of photographers of varied abilities, from across the Commonwealth and beyond, all documenting the natural beauty of the Bay State.
One was Cheryl Rose, whose striking image of a colorful (and carnivorous) Sundew plant was named the Grand Prize Winner. Beautiful but deadly—but only to insects trapped by the “flypaper plant”‘s sticky dew-drop-shaped glands—Sundews can be found in wetlands such as those found at Mass Audubon’s Waseeka Wildlife Sanctuary, located in Rose’s town of Hopkinton and thus her “home” destination for taking photos and enjoying nature.
“I’ve always loved taking photos of insects and learned that if I looked down rather than up, I could discover an entire new world of nature,” recalled Rose, 68 and retired, who began taking photographs right after high school. “And from insects, I moved onto plants. Just so many colors and shapes!”
A Mass Audubon member since 1988, Rose also serves as a volunteer steward at Waseeka, helping to keep trails clear and clean.
And she takes a camera whenever she’s exploring the natural world. “But a lot of time, it doesn’t matter if I take a good photo,” she noted. “Just being out in nature, watching things, hearing things…it means so much.”
Rose’s Grand Prize-winning image won in the Plants and Fungi category, 18-and-Older age group. And she is a Picture This: Your Great Outdoors veteran, having entered multiple times; in 2019 she took First Place (also Plants and Fungi) and in 2017 was an Honorable Mention in the Landscape category.
Additional contest categories included People in Nature, Birds, Mammals, and Other Animals. Participants must have entered in their appropriate age groups: 18-and-Older or Under-18.
All photos—competitors could submit up to 10—must have been taken in Massachusetts or at Mass Audubon’s Wildwood Camp in Rindge, NH, but may have been shot any time prior to or during the 2023 contest period, July 1-September 30.
Rose is awarded a $250 gift card for her Grand Prize-winning photo, which will also be featured in Mass Audubon’s member newsletter, Explore. The 11 other Category winners receive $100 gift cards, and eight Honorable Mentions receive $50 gift cards, all to be redeemed at a Mass Audubon shop or wildlife sanctuary.
About Mass Audubon
Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 160,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at massaudubon.org.