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Visitors to Secor Metropark’s National Center for Nature Photography can see three concurrent exhibits through Feb. 16 that point out the kind of habitats and wildlife to be found locally.
They are “The Owl and the Woodpecker,” by award-winning photographer Paul Bannick, who is based in Seattle; “Trees: A Photographic Celebration,” by the Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, photographer Ian Adams, and “A View From The Light,” by Maggi Dandar, who lives in Curtice.
The 74 photographs are “just a wonderful tie-in to the whole Oak Openings area,” said gallery manager Karen Pugh, referring to Secor Metropark in Sylvania Township and Oak Openings Preserve Metropark to its south and the connecting corridor between them that the Toledo Area Metroparks board is putting together through land purchases.
“We have a national photographer, an Ohio photographer, and a local photographer,” Ms. Pugh said. Admission is free. The gallery is open from noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Mr. Bannick’s large-scale photos of North American owls and woodpeckers show the birds in spectacular detail, often in trees, and “stresses the importance of preserving the habitat,” Ms. Pugh said. There also are explanatory texts and audio recordings.
Mr. Adams’ photographs of trees show them through the seasons. Each shot is accompanied by a poem or quotation about trees, such as this one from Woody Allen alluding to Joyce Kilmer: “As the poet said, ‘only God can make a tree,’ probably because it’s so hard to figure out how to get the bark on.”
Ms. Dandar’s photos include a haunting image of deer crossing the Maumee River in heavy fog at Side Cut Metropark in Maumee. She said the shot, done with a wide angle lens, was the result of serendipity. “It was pure accident. I pulled over because I couldn’t see in the fog,” she said.
Another of her striking shots is of a fox on a shell beach. This was taken near Magee Marsh in Jerusalem Township. Ms. Dandar said she rises early every morning and is out with her camera by 5:30. She prefers the lighting at dawn and dusk for her photos.
Ms. Pugh said the exhibits are intended to give viewers a better appreciation of nature. “This is not just an art gallery. You look at these photos, and you can’t help being inspired.”
She noted that the metroparks are home to many of the owls and woodpeckers captured in Mr. Bannick’s photos, including screech owls, barred owls, barn owls, and the occasional snowy owl. Woodpeckers to be found in the metroparks include red head, red-bellied, downy, hairy, pileated, and flickered, added Scott Carpenter, spokesman for the metroparks system.
When the exhibits end, the center will close until the fall for renovation, Mr. Carpenter said. The interior will be reconfigured and the rental facility spruced up. He said the Oak Openings corridor is more than 90 percent complete, and when it is done, the remodeled building will be the north welcome center and trail head.