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MailTribune.com
  • Chance Encounter

    Medford woman scores big in annual Oregon Outdoors Wild Bird Photo Contest with picture of a reclusive owl
  • Marilyn Patterson has entered the Oregon Outdoors Wild Bird Photo Contest twice. Last year she took second place for a photo of a Laysan albatross chick shot on Sand Island in Midway Atoll. This year she won the whole thing, wowing judges with her ethereal photo of a reclusive long-eared owl taken in the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Northern California.
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  • Marilyn Patterson has entered the Oregon Outdoors Wild Bird Photo Contest twice. Last year she took second place for a photo of a Laysan albatross chick shot on Sand Island in Midway Atoll. This year she won the whole thing, wowing judges with her ethereal photo of a reclusive long-eared owl taken in the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Northern California.
    Not bad for a retired special education teacher from Medford who didn't know what kind of owl she was shooting until she and her companions dug out the bird guides they'd brought and looked it up.
    "We didn't even realize it was a hard bird to find until we came back and talked to people, and they were surprised we got a photo of one," said Patterson, 64.
    She, her husband, Bill, and some friends had made the trip to Humboldt County last March to see the redwoods and explore Eureka, Arcata and some of the wildlife areas that border Humboldt Bay.
    "When we take a trip, I haul out my camera and do quite a bit with it," says Patterson, a volunteer at the Family Nurturing Center who has recently taken some writing courses at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. "It goes in spurts. There are other things I like to do to, so it goes in cycles."
    Patterson's winning shot was one of 327 photos entered in this year's contest, the 13th annual.
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