Our readers have shown us with their view of the Midwest outdoors — via more than 150 entries in our inaugural photo contest, which collected images taken from November 2016 to November 2017. From backwoods beauty to bike portraits to bobcats on the prowl, we’ve seen it all. Now we’re happy to share the best with you. Congratulations to all the winners!

Grand Prize
Dan Zarlega - Eastern garter snake at night
Dan Zarlega of St. Louis is as avid about the photography as he is the outdoors. He works as a media specialist for the Missouri Department of Conservation and took this photo of an eastern garter snake at Busch Conservation Area in Weldon Spring, Mo., during a walk after work one evening. “[The snake] was very tolerant and barely moved while I took a number of photos to work out the best exposure and flash settings. I was just able to get a shot I was happy with before he slithered away,” Zarlega said. “I like the photo because it’s what I think of as a ‘macroscape,’ a photo that combines elements of a macro closeup, where you can see the small snake prominently, with a wide-angle landscape scene showing the moon and twilight sky colors.” Dan wins a pair of Maui Jim World Cup sunglasses and a $100 gift card to Alpine Shop.

Wildlife
First Place
Bobcat in the Forest
Joann Fricke captured this bobcat bopping along in the Illinois Ozarks Nature Preserve in Monroe County, Ill. The rare sighting wins Joann a performance short-sleeve T-shirt from Retro Image Apparel plus a two-year subscription to Terrain.

Second Place
Slumbering eastern screech owl
Carol Bock didn’t disturb this slumbering eastern screech owl, which she saw at the Grafton Visitor Center in Grafton, Ill. Her discretion gets her a QIKCOVER vehicle seat protector plus a one-year subscription.

Third Place
Spotted milkweed bug nymphs on a cappuccino black-eyed Susan
Danielle Ridolfi spotted these two spotted milkweed bug nymphs on a cappuccino black-eyed Susan at Tower Grove Park in St. Louis. Danielle wins a $25 gift card good for any service/labor with Velofix St. Louis.

People
First Place
Skipping a rock as the sun set over Creve Coeur Lake in Creve Coeur, Mo.
Tina Murtha snapped her son skipping a rock as the sun set over Creve Coeur Lake in Creve Coeur, Mo. The images nets Tina a performance short-sleeve T-shirt from Retro Image Apparel plus a two-year subscription.

Second Place
Morning view from Owl’s Bend Overlook
Dan Zarlega gets a QIKCOVER vehicle seat protector plus a one-year subscription for his picture of two backpackers enjoying an early morning view from Owl’s Bend Overlook on the Current River in Dent County, Mo.

Third Place
The Grove Criterium in St. Louis, Mo.,
Wm. Michael Cody caught the action at the Grove Criterium in St. Louis, Mo., and caught himself a $25 gift card good for any service/labor with Velofix St. Louis for his photo of men’s pro race.

Nature
First Place
Fog over the Current River
Three-peat winner Dan Zarlega saw something he liked in this shot of the morning sun cutting through the fog over the Current River, and so did we! He wins a performance short-sleeve T-shirt from Retro Image Apparel plus a two-year subscription to Terrain.

Second Place
Two trees in a lake at Busch Conservation Area in Weldon Spring
His striking shot of two trees in a lake at Busch Conservation Area in Weldon Spring earns Scott Long a QIKCOVER vehicle seat protector plus a one-year subscription.

Third Place
Glimmer of sunlight over the Meramac River in Sherman Beach Park
For the last glimmer of sunlight over the Meramac River in Sherman Beach Park near Glencoe, Mo., Steve Jett wins a $25 gift card good for any service/labor with Velofix St. Louis.

Anything Goes
First Place
Retouched image from Hawn State Park
Bob Reilly saw the forest for the trees in this digitally retouched image from Hawn State Park in Ste. Genevieve, Mo. It’s good for a performance short-sleeve T-shirt from Retro Image Apparel plus a two-year subscription.

Second Place
Drafting behind a teammate at the Rocheport Roubaix Gravel Race
Marc Pauly snapped this retouched image while drafting behind a teammate at the Rocheport Roubaix Gravel Race in Rocheport, Mo. The open-road finery wins him a QIKCOVER vehicle seat protector plus a one-year subscription.

Third Place
Acorn in the road
Anna Zelinske was logging some road miles about St. Louis County when she snapped this photo to remind herself that the beauty and magnificence of the world is all around us. She’ll get a $25 gift card good for any service/labor with Velofix St. Louis for the appreciative image.

Honorable Mentions

Over the bars by Marc Pauly


Fantastical fungus by Christy Moore


Flying high by Jay Thomas


Northern spring peeper by Mark Nettles

About Our Prizes
The grand prize finisher in the Terrain Photo Contest 2017 will receive a pair of Maui Jim World Cup sunglasses. Maui Jim got its start in 1980 as a small company selling sunglasses on the beach in Lahaina, Hawaii. Seeing a need in the market for technology that could combat intense glare and harmful UV while bringing the brilliant colors of the island to life, the company engineered the revolutionary PolarizedPlus2 lens. Maui Jim now offers over 125 styles of sunglasses, 100 percent of which are polarized and protect from 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. mauijim.com

In addition, the winner will get a $100 gift certificate to Alpine Shop. What began in 1973 as a small climbing shop in Webster Groves, Mo., now serves almost every type of outdoor enthusiast, from backpackers, hikers, camper, paddlers and cyclists to snowboarders, skiers and adventure racers. alpineshop.com

First-place winners will receive a custom performance short-sleeve T-shirt from Retro Image Apparel. Retro Image Apparel combines top-quality performance materials with stunning graphic illustrations and bold pop culture icons not found anywhere else. When you ride with Retro, you celebrate The Art of Riding. 314-322-3396

Second-place winners will receive a QIKCOVER vehicle seat protector — a triple-layer, 100-percent waterproof, machine-washable, universal-size seat cover. Geared toward outdoor enthusiasts looking for a convenient way to keep their interior seats clean from all the elements. Everyone can use a QIKCOVER! qikcover.com

Third-place winners will receive a $25 gift card good for any service/labor with Velofix St. Louis. A mobile bike maintenance and repair service with 30 franchises in North America, Velofix allows you to book a reservation online and have its “rolling bike shop” come to you. velofix.com/locations/st-louis/