Nature Photography Day set for Sept. 29 at Crane Meadows

The Friends of Crane Meadows along with the Refuge staff are hosting a photography event and nature walk at Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge Saturday, Sept. 29. Both events will begin at 8 a.m. at the Refuge shop. Following the presentation by a guest speaker, participants will walk the Platte River trail using the tools and techniques acquired in the indoor session.

Paul A. Given will be the guest speaker. Given’s involvement in photography dates back to his childhood days. When he was a teenager he received his first camera as a Christmas present. From there his fascination in the field grew. In fact, several years after that memorable Christmas Day he had taken photos of a school that burned to the ground in Bemidji. Just recently those photos sold for historical documentation.

Given’s love for the hobby grew into collecting cameras and photography memorabilia. Last year, the Morrison County Record printed an article about Given and his camera collection. All are invited to come out to the Refuge and learn more about cameras, techniques and share in Given’s enthusiasm. Afterward the program will move outdoors along the Platte River Trail.

The nature walk will be along the Platte River trail. The Platte River Trail is over 3.5 miles long; it has two overlooks. One is on the Platte River; the other is on Rice Lake. The trail runs through a variety of habitats; tail grass prairie, oak savanna, wetland, woodland, along the River and Rice Lake. The trail is surfaced with crushed granite so it is accessible to everyone. There are three loops in the trail, so the direction of the walk and length will be dictated by the participants.

Visitors are asked to dress appropriately, as the morning may be cool, possibly damp. Bug spray may be helpful as the morning air warms.

Those who do not wish to take photographs are welcome to enjoy a walk along the Refuge trail. Everyone is welcome to attend. All photographers are welcome, whether just thinking about getting started in photography and have startup questions or have been snapping photos for years. This is an opportunity to learn and to aid others who want to know more.

An added bonus to this program is that photographers will be able practice the newly learned techniques while viewing some of the sights at Crane Meadows.

The Friends of Crane Meadows will have free coffee and refreshments available. Crane Meadows is located off County Road 35 southeast of Little Falls. For more information, call Paul Soler at (320) 632-1575.