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Carvers take delight in wooden feathers

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Charlie Hill and Jim Manning inspect wooden duck carvings at the Wooden Feather Day at Magee Marsh State Wildlife Area in Ottawa County. Three members of the Maumee Bay Carvers group displayed their carvings and each was honored as a winner. Wooden Feather Day has been an annual tradition for 15 years at Magee Marsh, but rain led to a smaller turnout yesterday.

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OAK HARBOR - For Carolyn Wodrich, a love of carving miniature waterfowl decoys and feathers started 20 years ago, after the Elmore woman's duck-hunting husband asked her to paint some of his decoys.

"That was the beginning - and it's turned into a monster," Mrs. Wodrich joked.

Yesterday, Mrs. Wodrich and two fellow members of the Maumee Bay Carvers group displayed their creations at the annual Wooden Feather Day at Magee Marsh State Wildlife Area in Ottawa County near Oak Harbor.

The event, held in the Sportsmen's Migratory Bird Center, has been taking place for more than 15 years with attendees voting for their favorite feather carving. Inclement weather yesterday contributed to a light turnout for the event, however, and all three entries were deemed winners.

Mrs. Wodrich used basswood to carve the feather resting on a leaf that she displayed yesterday.

She soaked the wood in hot water to bend it into a curve before painting. The Ohio Decoy Carvers member also makes miniature decoys that are worn as jewelry.

Bob Lund of Perrysburg also used basswood for his carving of a sandhill crane feather, which he displayed yesterday in a case along with a real feather and model of the cranes that frequently fly through Magee Marsh. He said he has loved birds since he was a child and carving was a natural extension.

"It's just something I enjoy," Mr. Lund, who also volunteers at the bird center, said. "It keeps me out of trouble."

Jeff Thomas of Perrysburg carved a wood duck feather from tupelo wood for the competition. A duck hunter, Mr. Thomas said he started carving ducks and other birds six years ago after meeting up with carvers at an event.

Carvings and other artistic works also will be on display at the bird center from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday during its annual holiday open house in Magee Marsh, 13229 West State Rt. 2, Oak Harbor. The bird center features waterfowl decoys as well as various wildlife habitat, historical, and art displays.

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