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Around the University of Michigan campus, librarian Corey Seeman is known as “that guy who takes the squirrel pictures.”

"Many" squirrel pictures doesn't begin to describe it. The Saline resident says he has taken more than 46,000 of them at U-M alone.  Also, he says, “I am a huge proponent of what I call Squirrel Tourism,” taking photos wherever he travels. “You never know what you are going to get.  A different expression, a different age, a different food, a different lighting, etc.“

One of his favorite photos, “Squirrel in the Hardy Mums,“ is one of this week’s finalists in The Detroit News’ Celebrate Michigan Photo Contest under the Woods and Wildlife theme. It was taken right outside of the Ross School of Business building where he works. He threw some peanuts into the flowers and the squirrel obligingly followed and started snacking.

This week’s other contest finalists are:

  • “Beautiful Spring Blossoms,” by Anne Johnson of Brownstown. Redbud trees are captured in full bloom at waterlogged Lower Huron Metropark in Belleville, with white dots of spent dandelion heads providing a pointillist feel to the scene.
  • “Taking Flight,” by Lorie Pennell of Akron, Michigan.  A large flock of tundra swans rises after feeding in a field in Tuscolo County in Michigan’s Thumb during an April migration.
  • "Winter Cardinal,” by Justin Bradley of Almont. His goal on a mid-January day was to photograph water fowl along the Harley Ensign Memorial Boat Launch in Harrison Township.  No luck with that, but “then I looked over and saw this beautiful, bright cardinal puffed up, just trying to stay warm,” he said.  “That beautiful red and that cold pastel palette of background colors really worked well here.”

The Woods and Wildlife contest theme continues through July 20.  Enter your photos at   When the 16 finalists have been selected, two winners will be chosen, one by the Detroit News photo staff, the other a People’s Choice winner selected by public voting July 25-29.

Both winners will receive a $300 Visa gift card as their prize.

Theme 3, Four-Season Fun, gets underway July 20-August 17.  Again, two winners will receive  $300 Visa card. At the close of the Celebrate Michigan contest on Aug. 29, three more photos will be chosen from among all of the finalists to receive Awards of Excellence in the form of $100 Visa cards.

Study the official rules and find weekly stories and a running photo gallery of the finalists and winners selected to date at .

The contest is open to non-professional photographers age 18 and older. All photos must have been shot in Michigan by the person submitting them, with no significant alteration by a software program.

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