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Sixteen beautiful, fascinating photo finalists were plucked from 1,879 entries to The Detroit News’ Celebrate Michigan: Woods and Wildlife photo contest in June and July. 

From that elite group, two winners have emerged:

 “Kensington Spring!” by Jeffrey Wagoner of Plymouth, is the Woods and Wildlife winner, selected by Detroit News judges.

It’s rare to see a nature photo shot during a snow shower, much less before daylight. Wagoner’s photo of an egret flapping its wings during a snow squall at Kensington Metropark has an ethereal glow, evoking angel’s wings. The black background and driving snow add drama and a sense of movement. 

The People’s Choice Award, determined after five days of public voting, goes to “Squirrel in the Hardy Mums,” by Corey Seeman of Saline. The appealing squirrel seems to have popped out of a sea of mums at the University of Michigan to give a lecture.

Seeman says this shot is just one of 46,000 squirrel images he’s taken.

Both winners will receive $300 Visa gift cards.

Five more photos will earn prizes this summer as Celebrate Michigan Photo Contest continues with Four-Season Fun.

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