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Engaging Our Environment

Wildlife photographer Jack Turner captures nature’s hidden gems

      Many of Maryland’s hidden gems, its wild wetland birds and animals, are not-so-obvious treasures that few of us fully notice. Unless you’ve the fiery curiosity of youth coupled with the unusual desire to brave hungry mosquitoes, gnats and biting flies, you’ll usually be unaware of the many species of hawks, herons, owls, kingfishers, waterfowl and even the eagles that reside and flourish among the Chesapeake’s wetlands.
      John Henry ‘Jack’ Turner has seen most of them. This young man has spent the last few years prowling the swamps, backwaters, salt marshes, hidden gullies, islands, peninsulas and otherwise desolate wild and semi-wild places of Maryland that provide shelter and sustenance to these often shy but always beautiful birds and animals.
      Armed with his Nikon digital camera and a few lengthy lenses, Jack has spent countless hours wading, paddling and skulking about to capture images of these birds and animals, many rarely seen by casual observers. His pictures have the uncanny dimension of communicating a personality as well as providing their unique presence.
      Jack’s first photographic exhibition — Engaging our Environment, Wild Life Photography — continues through March 30 at the Pip Moyer Recreation Center at 273 Hilltop Lane in Annapolis. There you encounter the beautiful prints, framed and unframed, of our great blue herons as well as some the great white and little green varieties. You will also find Coopers hawks and similar-sized raptors, bald eagles, screech owls (regular and red-morphed), pileated and red-headed woodpeckers, barred owls, ospreys, foxes (one-eyed and two), white-tail deer, geese, wild ponies, crows, some of the more common shorebirds, the more rarely seen Baltimore orioles, and, well, you get the idea.
     Jack’s mission in providing this detailed view of the natural world is to encourage an observer’s connection to these birds and animals and imbue a sense of responsibility in fostering their continued wellbeing and the wellbeing of the environment.
      Completely self-taught, Jack is from an artistic family. His father championed Jack’s choice of career, and his mother is a locally famous portrait artist, Moe Delaitre, who has since relocated to Paris and continues to paint and show locally.
     Find him on Instagram at jack_wildlife.