There’s patience, and then there’s patience. It took Jackie Orsulak 10 years to get the photo that won the Grand Prize in this year’s Wildlife in North Carolina photo competition. Her photo, along with 30 others, will be on display at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences from January 7 through March 31.
For the past decade, Orsulak has volunteered to guard sea turtle nests near her home in Duck. The idea is to have someone there when the hatchlings emerge to make sure they have a good chance at reaching their new home in the Atlantic. Orsulak was minding a nest at Southern Shores last summer when the hatchling in her Grand Prize photo made a break for it in the early evening while it was still light out.
Now in its sixth year, the Wildlife in North Carolina Photo Competition seeks to encourage high-quality nature photography and to identify talented wildlife photographers working in North Carolina. This year’s field totaled 5,511 photographs from 1,270 photographers, including 149 junior shutterbugs in the two youth categories. The most popular subject was Birds (928 entries), followed closely by Invertebrates (881) and Wild Landscapes (786). Wild Plants received 657 entries and Animal Behavior 557, Outdoor Recreation 518, Reptiles & Amphibians 500, Mammals 425, Youth 13-17 143 and Youth 12 & Under 116. Following the Museum exhibition, various North Carolina state parks will exhibit selected photos from the competition throughout the year.
The Photo Competition is held in collaboration with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, the NC Museum of Natural Sciences and the NC Division of Parks and Recreation, with support from Great Outdoor Provision Co. (Corporate Sponsor) and JW Photo of Raleigh (Exhibition Sponsor).