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Sunday's Fall Festival at Tamarac Refuge to feature nature photography

The annual Fall Festival at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge is set for this Sunday, Sept. 25. This year's theme is photography, with a variety of workshops, activity stations and tours focused on taking photos that highlight Tamarac's natural beauty.

Tamarac Photo Safari.JPG
The wonders of nature photography will be explored during this year's Tamarac Fall Festival, which takes place Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge. An "early bird" photo safari departs from the Visitor Center at 11 a.m., with participants having an opportunity to take photos "behind the gates" at one of the Refuge's most scenic spots.
Vicki Gerdes / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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DETROIT LAKES — An "early bird" photo safari will set the theme of this year's Fall Festival at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, which is "A Focus on Photography."

The photo safari, which will be guided by photographer Denise Warweg and Refuge Manager Kent Sundseth, gets underway at 11 a.m., with a carpool departing from the parking lot outside the Visitor Center and returning around noon.

"They will be taking people behind the gates to a really scenic spot on the Refuge," said Tamarac Park Ranger Kelly Blackledge. "Denise will be providing photo tips and Kent will be providing information about that area of the Refuge."

The remainder of this year's festival activities will take place between 12-4 p.m.

"We will have photography workshops to give people tips on how to get the most out of their cameras and capture nature in all its beauty this fall," Blackledge said. "The workshops will focus on macro photography (close-up photos of small subjects) and phone photography (taking photos with your camera phone)."

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David Israel will lead the workshop on macro photography at noon, while Rod Ludwig will present the workshop on "iPhone-ography" at 2 p.m., Blackledge said. Israel's session will take place inside the theater at the Visitor Center, while Ludwig's will take place at the amphitheater outside the Discovery Center, weather permitting.

At 1 p.m., Native American artist Norma Jean Bakka of the White Earth Reservation will be giving a presentation on the significance of the jingle dress in Native American culture, and she will be bringing along some models, who will wear the jingle dresses to provide festival attendees with opportunities to photograph them outdoors. The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Bakka and Detroit Lakes Tribune journalist Vicki Gerdes, who will provide some useful tips for outdoor photography.

From 12 to 4 p.m., members of Bemidji's Nature Connection will present a live raptor display, including opportunities for aspiring nature photographers to take some up-close photos of owls and hawks.

In addition, there will be a family photo booth, photography-focused activity stations where participants can complete a "Fill the Film" challenge for a chance to take home a special prize, maple syrup sampling with Jake's Syrups of Vergas, and a virtual photo contest where people can take digital photos on the Refuge that day and enter them in this year's Tamarac Photo Contest.

The Friends of Tamarac will be serving up lunch for just $5 a plate; other than the food, all activities taking place in and around the Visitor Center, Discovery Center and Blackbird Wildlife Drive are being offered free of charge.

The Tamarac Visitor Center is located at 35704 County Hwy. 26, Rochert. For more information, contact the Refuge at 218-847-2641 or visit the website at fws.gov/refuge/tamarac . Please call ahead for any special accommodations that may be needed.

A reporter at Detroit Lakes Newspapers since relocating to the community in October 2000, Vicki was promoted to Community News Lead for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus on Jan. 1, 2022. She has covered pretty much every "beat" that a reporter can be assigned, from county board and city council to entertainment, crime and even sports. Born and raised in Madelia, Minnesota, she is a graduate of Hamline University, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature (writing concentration). You can reach her at vgerdes@dlnewspapers.com.
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