Winners of our latest Flickr photo contest

Here are the winners of the latest Gardening With the Monitor on Flickr winter photo contest.

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    Winter Barn
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    Snowy Megan
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    A Trillion Little Snowflakes
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The Monitor's Gardening section has a group on Flickr where members post photos -- usually of gardens, of course.

Occasionally, we have contests at the Gardening With The Monitor group site for photos of a particular subject. We've had competitions to find the best photographs of fruit and vegetables, as well as great images of plants.

Our most recent contest was a bit different. Instead of focusing on plants or landscapes, we chose the topic, What Does Your Winter Look Like?

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Monitor staff photographer Mary Knox Merrill judged the photos that were submitted [click here to see all of them; there are two pages] and came up with three winners. First and third places were won by the same photographer, Dana O'Shea. (You can see her entire photo stream on Flicker by clicking here.)

Here's what Dana, who lives in Wisconsin, has to say about her winter images:

One of my favorite activities is to drive to the country and capture some of the beauty of nature. I took Winter Barn and Tree [which took first place; see first photo above] on one of those excursions. If felt like a perfect winter moment.

I am trying to spend more time outdoors during our cold winters here in the Midwest and improve my winter photography. A Trillion Little Snowflakes [third place winner; see photo No. 3 above] captures the wonder and magic that we sometimes forget about winter.

Dana will receive a $25 gift card from outdoor gear and clothing retailer REI as her prize.

Madeline Hardy, the photographer who won second place [with Snowy Megan; see Photo No. 2 above], is a teenager. (Click here to see her entire photo stream on Flickr.) She writes in an e-mail:

I took this picture on my 16th birthday. School was canceled because of a snowstorm and so I invited my good friend over to celebrate the snow day as well as my birthday. My friend's curly hair had gotten coated with snow from making a snow angel and I saw the opportunity. I think what makes this photo great is the angle at which it was taken as well as the contrast between the coarse brown hair and the white fluffy snow.

We have sent Madeline a copy of a new book, "Bean Appetit: Hip and Healthy Ways to Have Fun With Food." It's a family guide to "playful eating" and seems right in keeping with the spirit of Snowy Megan.

Congratulations to both Madeline and Dana. We'll be announcing a new Flickr contest soon, so watch for it.

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