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Westland butterfly gardener, photographer wins contest

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News
  • Nearly 300 email entries to contest
  • Winner loves butterfly gardening%2C photography

The photos poured in by the dozen.

There were images of black swallowtails, viceroys, red admirals, and of course, monarchs. And they came from all over the state — Lansing, AuSable, Ann Arbor.

All told, I received nearly 300 email submissions to the Homestyle and Novi Home & Garden Show Butterfly Garden Photo Contest.

There were readers who raised butterflies, others who visited local lakes, parks, and preserves where butterflies are known to flock. There were images of caterpillars and newly emerged butterflies. There were so many lovely photos it was hard to choose one as the winner.

But we buckled down, whittled the field, and the winner is: John Blair of Westland.

Blair combined his two passions — butterfly gardening and photography — to capture some beautiful images.

Blair, who retired from Ford three years ago, says he started butterfly gardening in 2012 after attending a workshop by local butterfly expert Brenda Dziedzic.

"It really lit a fire in my belly," says Blair in an email.

Today, his 3,200-square-foot garden has 82 species of native plants and had 26 different species of butterfly visitors last year.

Blair will receive tickets to this weekend's Home & Garden Show, sponsored by the Home Builders Association, at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. It runs today through Sunday. Visit novihomeshow.com for more details.

The choice wasn't an easy one, as you can see by the photo gallery. Thanks to all the talented gardeners and butterfly advocates who submitted their photos. Your images brightened up the final dark days of winter!