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Picture This

This year’s winners of Pelican Island Preservation Society’s photography contest capture timeless moments in the natural realm

BEST IN SHOW
“Fishing in the Rain”
Photo by Linda Leonard

BEST IN SHOW “Fishing in the Rain” Photo by Linda Leonard

The winning photographs from this year’s Pelican Island Preservation Society’s photography contest show us nature as it was, is and will be. From cheerful bright sunflowers to crisscross turtle tracks at sunrise, nectar-seeking dragonflies and birds nesting and noshing, these images reveal nature’s endless beauty and cycles of life. 

Best in Show winner Linda Leonard, who photographed a kingfisher bird seizing its next meal, says it was challenging. “Kingfishers are skittish and fly away at the slightest movement or sound,” she says. She started taking photos around 5:30 a.m. in a tent disguised with leaves near a pond in Sebastian and captured this moment late morning. “It’s such a joy to later look through your photos and see the fine detail you can’t see when you’re taking the pictures.”

A sense of wonder also inspires Chuck Palmer, first place winner in the landscape category. His photo of two turtle tracks crisscrossing to create a “perfect X” on the beach is a first for him and his wife to see. Shot at 6:49 a.m. as they were taking their daily walk in the Archie Carr Natural Wildlife Refuge, the photo, he believes, shows tracks from the same turtle that came up, laid her eggs, and returned to the ocean.

David Sime won two first-place prizes. In the category of wildlife, he caught one very determined-looking osprey snatching two fish at once. Shot in Viera Highlands, this raptor’s left wing is outstretched in full display. Sime’s other first-place win was in the macro category. Taken in Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, the photo took a bit of patience. “This dragonfly found the perfect perch, but he’d fly away,” says Sime. “He’d wait and come back. He did this several times.”  Finally, he was still and detail of his intricate wings — and face — are now immortal.