Photographer gives new perspective to Missouri

Friday, September 22, 2006
Mel Jones' photographs are on display at the Conservation Campus Nature Center.

Englishman Mel Jones found natural beauty to be abundant in Southeast Missouri. Now he wants to share his outsider's perspective with locals.

On Sunday, Jones will be at the Conservation Campus Nature Center at Cape County Park North to talk to people about what his fresh eye saw in Southeast Missouri and the photographs that resulted from his travels.

For the past few years, Jones has lived on and off in Malden, Mo., working at the Federal Mogul plant there. Photography is one of Jones' hobbies, so during his stay in Malden, he packed his camera along to places like Wappapello Lake and Duck Creek.

"I saw a lot of wildlife stuff I don't see in England," Jones said. "Basically, I took some photographs and people seemed to like them."

The photos were on display in Dexter, Mo., before they made their way to the Nature Center this month.

Jones said that, from his perspective, Southeast Missouri is a beautiful area with plenty of natural wonder -- wonder that can easily be taken for granted by native residents who see the sights every day.

"The countryside is so different than in England and other places in the world I've been," Jones said. "I'm getting older, as well. I'm pushing 61, and I think you become more in tune with nature and the beauty of it."

Jones said he's amazed by the beauty and symmetry of something as simple as a dandelion. His shots capture all seasons and different types of fauna.

April Dozier, nature center manager, said the fresh perspective is what makes Jones' work worthwhile. "His shots are so interesting because he notices the simple things we often overlook," she said.

335-6611, extension 182

Want to go?

* What: "Missouri as Seen Through the Eyes of an Englishman"

* When: 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24

* Where: Conservation Campus Nature Center

* Info: 290-5218

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