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Now steaming into its third week, the Woods and Wildlife theme of The Detroit News’ Celebrate Michigan Photo Contest has produced a gaggle of geese, a scurry of squirrels, a bevy of swans, a flight of butterflies, a parliament of owls, a murder of crows, and a convocation of eagles, and that’s not even the half of it.  In short, we’ve received a flock of entries.

Thank you, nature lovers and photographers!  Keep them coming!

Like many wildlife photographers hoping to get a great shot, Richard Bagdasarian of Wixom "woke up early one morning to capture the feeding great blue herons at Robert Long Park in Commerce Township. This particular heron was actually facing away from me, but apparently had his eye on a fish to the side.  It took a speedy sideways attempt at breakfast, and the angle (at which) his beak hit the water created the most mesmerizing double-helix shaped splash.”

Bagdasarian’s “Double Helix,” with the heron’s headlong plunge perfectly mirrored in the water, earns its spot in the finals, along with three others selected this week:

  • “The Upside Down,” by Emily Bergman of Mount Clemens.  Bergman’s photo captures the reflection of the sky and trees in  a giant puddle of melting snow and ice last winter, the water creating an impressionistic scene.
  • “Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Enjoying the Milkweed,” by Jennifer Harte of Northville.  "I was searching for monarchs at Heritage Park in Farmington Hills and found this beautiful ruby-throated hummingbird enjoying the milkweed,” she said. It’s no small feat to keep a hummingbird in focus.
  • “Waiting Their Turn,” by Caroline Harris of Petersburg. Her photo of “three of my field-bred English Setters, on stake-out in a clearing off a two-track near Gladwin” looks like it’s straight from an Orvis ad.

Photos of Michigan’s animals and woodlands will be accepted until noon on July 19, so don’t delay. Submit yours at  Two $300 prizes will awarded, one winner chosen by the Detroit News photo staff, the other a People’s Choice Award selected by online voting. 

The contest’s final theme, Four-Season Fun, will run from July 19 to Aug. 16.  

The contest is open to non-professional photographers age 18 and older. Read the official rules and follow along all summer at for weekly stories and a photo gallery of the finalists and winners selected to date.

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