Johnson’s photos are still the best


Pam Dudding-Burch
Contributing writer

Submitted photo
Gwen Johnson won the Craig County Library’s First Photo Contest with the picture of a mama Kildeer standing over her next of eggs.

The beauty of Spring saturates Craig County with colorful flowers and singing birds, and Gwen Johnson has the kind of talent that can capture a ‘perfect’ moment.

The Craig County Library recently had their First Annual Photo Contest with a “Spring in Craig County” theme. Many people enjoyed entering the contest and for the judges, it seemed difficult to choose a winner.

Gwen Johnson, Craig County’s newspaper writer for years, caught the beauty of new birth in her picture of an attentive Kildeer standing over her nest full of eggs, almost ready to hatch.

“The Kildeer Plover, Charadrius vociferous, is a small shore bird that nests on open rocky areas where the eggs blend in so well with the gravels that they can are difficult to spot,” shared Marge Lewter, Vice President of the Library. “The mother bird, however, is easy to spot as she dashes away from the nest, calling out for the intruder to follow her away from the nest.” She added that sometimes the mama Kildeer will act like she is injured only to take flight when approached.

The nest Johnson photographed was found in the parking lot of the old school administration building that Craig County Rescue Squad now occupies. “At the time, the property was undergoing renovation and the parking lot was filled with all kinds of heavy-duty equipment and workers which mama Kildeer seemed completely oblivious to,” Lewter said.

However, Jim Cady, Emergency Services/Emergency Management Coordinator, made sure it was protected. “Being the caring person that he is, and since he was heading up the renovation project, he had the bird’s nest roped off with yellow construction tape to keep it from harm,” Lewter shared.

Workers noted that it wasn’t long before the babies were running loose in the parking lot, and in an even a shorter period of time they had taken flight and ‘soared off into the wild blue yonder’.

“Johnson’s picture will be displayed in the library to celebrate the art of photography and the beauty of Craig County,” Lewter said.

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