There are two "People's Choice" winners in the 16th annual Friends of Prime Hook U.S. Wildlife Refuge Nature Photography Contest.
Dan Laughman, of Magnolia, and Julie Memmolo, of Dover, tied for first place in the competition. The winner is selected by visitors to the photography exhibit who vote for their favorite image. When the show ended Dec. 8, 2019, the votes were counted and both photographers were tied, something which has never happened before.
Laughman's photo was of an osprey bringing a fish back to the nest. Three chicks are facing him with their beaks open, as they eagerly await a fish dinner.
The photograph, taken at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, is titled "Fish for the Family."
Memmolo's photo is of a camouflaged barred owl in a tree. It was taken at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge.The owl blends into the color of the wood, but it is looking expectantly outside, a fitting image for the photo titled "Who Rang my Bell?"
Laughman also won "Best in Show" with his image of a butterfly on bright coneflowers titled "The Swallowtail.” The photo won praise from judges for its focus, depth of field, color and composition.
Memmolo also won second prize in both the Native Birds and Native Wildlife categories.
The annual contest showcases nature photography on the Delmarva Peninsula and often attracts more than 200 entries in seven different categories. This year's contest opened Oct. 20, 2019, with an opening reception at the refuge auditorium. This year's show featured photographs from 30 different photographers, including a number of outstanding bird and wildlife photos.
The annual contest is sponsored by the Friends of Prime Hook U.S. National Wildlife Refuge.
— Native Birds: first place, Deborah Felmey, "Portrait of a Seed Snatcher;” second place, Julie Memmolo; third place, Dan Laughman; honorable mention, Dan Laughman and Julie Memmolo.
— Native Wildlife: first place, Freddie Daniels, "Curious Kit"; second place, Julie Memmolo; third place, Shari Young; honorable mention, Shari Young and Freddie Daniels.
— Beauty of Prime Hook: first place, Matthew Trucks, "Contrast of Natural Electric;” second place, Matthew Trucks; third place, Donna Parris McNemar.
— Native Flowers and Plants: first place, Margaret Porter, "Father and Son;” second place, Scott Figurski; third place, Edward Crawford.
— Delmarva Scenery: first place, Matthew Trucks, "Evening Hues;” second place, Deborah Felmey; third place, Scott Figurski; honorable mention, Dan Laughman.
— Senior Students: first place, Mallory Lemin, "Fishing;" second and third place, Weston Williams; honorable mention, Sara Figurski, Mallory Lemin and Allyson Johnson.
For more, visit friendsofprimehook.com.