Indiana is full of natural beauty, but sometimes, you see something extra special that makes you stop and reflect.
That’s what happened to each of the winning photographers in this year’s Nature and Farm Photo Contest organized by the Oak Heritage Conservancy and the George Rogers Clark Land Trust.
Kaula Meadors of Brownstown entered the winning photo she took while at the Jackson-Washington State Forest.
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Her photo shows a young girl — her daughter — laughing on the docks and looking over the water.
More than 200 photos were entered, and Meadors was one of about 40 selected as a winner.
“When you stop to enjoy nature, you notice the little details of everything around you,” Meadors said.
Contest organizers are hoping everyone who sees the exhibit will have that aha moment, said Liz Brownlee, the conservancy’s executive director.
The exhibit is on display in a storefront at 110 W. Second St. in downtown Seymour through Thursday.
The display includes the 13 Best in Show photos. All 40 photos are part of an online exhibit at oakheritageconservancy.org/get-involved/photoexhibit. Visitors to the website may vote one time for the grand prize winner.
The storefront exhibit is a partnership with Seymour Main Street. The building burned three years ago but has been purchased and is being restored. In the meantime, it is providing a space for art and reflection.
“We hope the exhibit inspires people to be proud to live in Indiana,” Brownlee said. “There’s so much good here that connects us all and so much work protecting and encouraging. The point of the exhibit is to get people talking about what makes Indiana worth caring about.”
Three other area residents were selected as winners.
Two Crothersville Junior-Senior High School students, Kiarra Lakins and Dirk Moore, won in the youth category. Lakins’ photo captures the scene along a hiking trail, while Moore’s photo shows a rainbow over a forest.
The conservancy and the land trust protect land in southern Indiana.
The conservancy focuses on natural areas, such as old growth forests, wetlands and pollinator habitats, and conservancy properties that are open to the public.
The trust protects working farmland, especially farms with the best soils. Both groups conserve land forever, so the land will always be habitat or farmland and can never be developed.
The winner of the contest will receive a one-year membership to the conservancy. Anyone can become a member and support land conservation in southeast Indiana.
To hear about the upcoming exhibits, follow Oak Heritage Conservancy on Facebook and Instagram.