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Brigham Young University's Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum recently announced the winners of its annual Nature Photography Contest.

The winning entries will remain on display along with other selected entries through Sept. 20. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, and admission is free."The quality of the photography being entered in the show has increased significantly over the years," said Doug Cox, assistant director of the museum.

The Best of Show award went to Holland Williams from Boise for his photograph, "Bridal Veil Falls, Hagerman, Idaho." His picture shows a waterfall cascading over green plants.

The Museum's Choice Award, which the museum will purchase for its permanent collection, went to Dana Rees of Orem for her picture of a fall scene in the Uintah Mountains titled "Golden Grove."

The Friend's Choice Award, chosen by the Friends of the Museum Club, was awarded to Eric Ruf of Springville for his photograph of a "snowy egret" standing on a rock with a stark black background.

First-place winners included Robert Day of Mapleton in the category of Man's Impact on Nature for "Two Tracks," John Comito of Elk Ridge in the Black and White category for "Dancing Aspen," Bret Hicken of Spanish Fork in the Wildlife category for "Misty Elk," and Paul Thomas of Tempe, Ariz. in the Nature category for "Light Swirls."

Second- and third-place winners were Holland Williams of Boise and Dana Rees in Man's Impact on Nature; Dana Rees and Kenneth Neely of Salt Lake City in the Black and White category; Lowell Dobson of Spanish Fork Eric Ruf in the Wildlife category; and Paul Thomas and Richard Beesley of Mapleton in the Nature category.

"We'd like to invite as many people in the area as are interested to come see these photographs - and then to enter next year," Cox said.

Many of the photographs capture images most people will not see in their lifetimes, such as a cougar sitting atop a sand dune, lion kittens enjoying a meal from their mother, the end of a rainbow on a pine tree and an orea whale splashing in the Antarctic Ocean.

Other pictures, such as the landscape scenes, are more commonplace but will never lose their beauty, Cox said.