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Explore Sapelo Island! Feb. 3-6, 2022

Explore Sapelo Island! Feb. 3-6, 2022

Explore Sapelo Island with GNPA!

Sapelo is a protected barrier island on the Georgia coast.

Nearby you’ll also find Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, the historic shrimp fleet town of Darien, and numerous opportunities to photograph sunrise, sunset, astrophotography, historic locations, additional wildlife management areas, and so much more. IN ADDITION TO guided day-trips to Sapelo Island!

This Feb. 3-6, 2022 trip will fill up fast, so register today!

Accommodations at the Blue Heron Lodge is included, a  3-story home, offering fantastic tidal marsh, creek and river views.

The Blue Heron is located on the mainland north of Darien, directly across from Sapelo. Meals are also included and prepared by a private chef.

Sapelo Island photography opportunities will include:

  • A north Island tour led by a Georgia Department of Natural Resources naturalist
  • Plantation ruins
  • Bald eagle nests
  • Lighthouse
  • Gorgeous beaches
  • Nature and birding trails

For trip details, head over to GNPA’s Sapelo trip page (member login required).

The average highs in Darian and Sapelo are in the mid to upper 60’s. How perfect is that?

Don’t delay… Register today!

Project Feeder Watch! Birdwatching to Benefit Conservation…

Project Feeder Watch! Birdwatching to Benefit Conservation…

Project FeederWatch is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Birds Canada—and if you have birds in your yard, you have what you need to participate!

Project FeederWatch is conducted by people of all skill levels and backgrounds—individuals, children, families, nature centers, and bird clubs. More than 20,000 participants across the United States and Canada survey the birds that visit backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locations, and it’s not too late to join the 2021-22 FeederWatch Season, which began in mid-November and continues into April, 2022.

FeederWatch data provides insight into bird population biology that cannot be detected through other methods. Throughout the winter, participants count the number of individual birds in each observed species, collecting data that helps detect and explain gradual changes in the wintering ranges of many species.

FeederWatcher counting schedules are COMPLETELY flexible. Count your birds for as long as you like on days of your choosing. Enter your counts online. It’s that simple.

Your contribution to a data-set of bird distribution and abundance will enable scientists to piece together more accurate population maps.

Data collected by FeederWatchers helps scientists understand:

  • long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance
  • the timing and extent of winter irruptions
  • expansions or contractions in the winter ranges of feeder birds
  • foods and environmental factors that attract birds
  • how disease is spread among birds that visit feeders

And if you photograph your feathered visitors (and what’s not fun about that?!), there is also a PHOTO CONTEST.

Go to and click on the cardinal for more information. The photo entry deadline is January 24, 2022.

To learn more about the Project FeederWatch and sign up to count and submit data, visit

Let’s use our backyard birdwatching to benefit the birds that we enjoy watching!

PHOTO CREDIT: Jenny Burdette Photography
The Year of the Okefenokee

The Year of the Okefenokee

Photo by Tom Wilson

Two great organizations – GNPA and the Georgia Sierra Club – are teaming up to spend a year celebrating the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. “The Year of the Okefenokee” project will feature field trips, seminars, photo contests, special GNPA e-newsletter articles and more.

The two photo contests will be centerpieces for this year-long event. The competitions will be open to the public and include an entry fee of  $5 per submission. The images should be taken in the Okefenokee and can only include species found there. There is no time limit on when the photo was made, but it must be the exclusive work of the submitting photographer.

The first contest will accept submissions from May 1-31, 2022. This will be following the GNPA Expo at Jekyll Island on April 7-10, which will include several presentations as well as field trips to the Okefenokee. A pre-judging panel – consisting of Larry Winslett, Eric Bowles and Tom Wilson – will select the final images to be reviewed by judge Amy Gulick. Winners will be announced around July 1.

The second contest will take submissions from November 1-30, 2022. The same panel will prejudge the submissions, with Peter Essick serving as judge. The contest winners will be revealed in the second week of January 2023.

The contest will have cash prizes for each of three categories: Landscapes, Wildlife and Macro/Closeup.  More information including specific rules, prize amounts, and submission guidelines, will be forthcoming.

The purpose of this year-long celebration is to increase public awareness of the Okefenokee. We hope all GNPA members will participate, and learn more about this amazing, world-class location within our state.




Winners were announced Tuesday night, Oct. 12th for the 2021 GNPA Double Vision competition, in partnership with the Chatahoochee Nature Center (CNC) and Roswell Fine Arts Association (RFAA).

This is GNPA’s 6th annual Double Vision photo competition. The Exhibit, which is open for viewing at the CNC River Resource Gallery, in Roswell, Georgia, is once again part of the fall Atlanta Celebrates Photography event. It will hang at the CNC through December 1st.

Twenty-four photographic images were selected from the 176 submitted entries (all captured in Georgia or contiguous states). These same images were then interpreted by artists from the RFAA. For the exhibit, the photographic image and the artist’s interpretation hang side-by-side, to be viewed together…hence, the exhibit’s name: Double Vision.

Of the exhibited photographic images, the following winners were selected for special recognition:

  • Best in Show (image show with this article): Thomas Yackley, Yellow Rumped Warbler
  • First Place: Pamela Cather, Hide and Seek
  • Second Place: Stephen Weiss, Rose Stack
  • Third Place: Horace Hamilton, Abrams Falls Trailhead Bear
  • Honorable Mention: Morey Gers, Hibiscus Dew Drops
  • Honorable Mention: Tom Simpson, Solar Glow
2021 Smokies Weekend Update: SPEAKER REVEAL!

2021 Smokies Weekend Update: SPEAKER REVEAL!

2021 SMOKIES WEEKEND UPDATE: Our Sunday speaker will be the one and only David Foster!

In addition to being one of GNPA’s first members and original board members, David is an award-winning nature photographer who specialized in healing art. After 30 years of photography as a personal pastime, he discovered his artistic passion and a desire to share his images. He began exhibiting and selling his work in 2006, and since then his images have been part of more than 75 regional, national and international exhibitions – including solo, juried and group shows.  His work is held in the collections of numerous hospitals and other health settings, public buildings and many private collections across the US.

David’s a FANTASTIC speaker and workshop instructor. We can’t wait for him to join us at this year’s Smokies Weekend!

Plus we have TONS of field trips/excursions planned, including sunrises and sets, waterfalls, wildlife, Cades Cove, art/waterscapes and SO much more.

For more information about David and his work, visit his website HERE.

And stay tuned, and keep Nov. 4-7 free to join us in the Smokies!

Membership News

Membership News

Raffensperger a Finalist in National Contest

A photograph by GNPA member Tricia Raffensperger was recently chosen as one of the finalists for the “American Landscape” photo contest, sponsored by Outdoor Photography magazine. We asked her to tell us more about the image, and how she came to make it:

“I have always had an affinity for capturing trees in my photography. This one in particular spoke to me when I captured it in Death Valley in February 2019. It was coming up on the first anniversary of the death of my oldest son, and I felt this tree symbolized strength in solitude. I’d recently had a Canon 5D Mark III converted to an infrared camera, and this was the first time I was using it. I thought the Joshua trees were perfect for trying it out.

“I entered it in the Gwinnett Ansel Adams competition, along with a few other images just after I returned. John Mariana was the judge and he remarked how much he liked the image, but he felt it needed more contrast. He did select another image I had submitted for first place. But this was my favorite, so I took his advice and gave it more contrast.

“This year, just for the heck of it, I entered it and four other images in the Outdoor Photography “American Landscape” contest. When I received an e-mail notifying me that this image had been selected as a finalist, it absolutely blew me away. What an honor and surprise to have this image selected! John Mariana was spot-on with his critique. Thank you, John!”

Image details: Canon 5D Mark III, EF 24-105 lens, ISO 800, 1/60 sec @ f/11.