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  • Writer's pictureLynne Kornecki

Master Naturalist and Nature Photographer Enjoys Asking, "Do You See What I See?"

Updated: May 17, 2022

Milkweed Seeds at Herrick Lake Forest Preserve in Wheaton, IL. PHOTOGRAPH BY JUDITH HORSLEY... Scroll down for more photographs...

Master Naturalist, Judith Horsley, brings more than talent to her nature photography, she brings a unique understanding of the natural world. Because of her rigorous training through the University of Illinois Extension Service, she engages and elevates her viewers with snippets of the natural world that might be easily overlooked.

“A Master Naturalist knows a little bit about a lot of things,” Judith explains. “From the history of Illinois as it relates to agriculture to an understanding of soil, animals and their habitats, it’s a way to contribute to the vitality of our many natural resources.”

June through September, Judith raises Monarch butterflies in her own West Chicago, IL backyard which helps protect them from predators. She explains that, in nature, only one egg in 10 will make it to maturity. Milkweed is their sole food source. Her work as a Master Naturalist is to help raise awareness among Illinois residents of the need to add milkweed to their backyard gardens. With a staggering goal of adding one billion additional stems across the state, Illinois will have a better base for supporting the lifecycle of these important pollinators.

Judith’s interest in photography and nature began in childhood when she received a BROWNIE camera as a gift and accompanied her parents on Sunday drives to such outdoor locales as the Morton Arboretum and Lake Michigan, among other destinations. She also credits her mother’s influence as the dedicated family photographer, who eagerly poured over photography brochures, and took stills and movies of her growing family.

“I learned about F-stops by watching my mother,” Judith recalls.

Today, Judith uses a 35 mm Pentax digital camera, doesn’t Photoshop, and enjoys entering her work into gallery shows. Recently her work was featured in Gallery One at the DuPage Art League in Wheaton, IL where she had 35 framed photos on display. She’s also co-taught local elementary students photography classes online through the Chicago Arts Partnership in Education (CAPE).

Judith concludes, “Photography freezes a point in time that is neither the same before or after. For me, a photo needs to be more than beautiful, it also has to tell a story.”

Judith can be reached at:

ALMOST DARK; Judith Horsley photograph

YELLOWSTONE LOWER FALLS; photograph by Judith Horsley

CALIFORNIA POPPIES & LUPINE; Photograph by Judith Horsley

YOSEMITE FALLS; Judith Horsley photograph

FROST ON THE WINDOW; Photograph by Judith Horsley Learn more Learn more Fine Line Creative Arts Center |



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