A male cardinal resting on a branch

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pictured here is one of Missouri's most beautiful songbirds. The male northern cardinal is also one of my favorite subjects to photograph. This image captures great detail in the wing feathers and the tail from an angle not often taken. The bright red breast is not showing, but we all know it is there.

I have this photo printed as an 18-by-30-inch fine art canvas and donated it to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. You can win this photo by making a $5 donation to the MDA at www.joinmda.org/2011mda/aaron63740. The drawing will be held Sept. 9.

With this photo, in my small way, I have an opportunity to help those who struggle daily with muscular dystrophy. I am fortunate to be able to take my camera and walk through the woods in search of fascinating things to photograph. I do not have muscular dystrophy.

The cardinal can fly and sing, but he does not know the joy he brings to people who see and hear him. To me he represents life, agility and happiness. One day I hope a cure is discovered for muscular dystrophy so those who suffer with this disease may run, sing and walk into the woods with a camera.

Through the Woods is a weekly nature photo column by Aaron Horrell. Find this column at semissourian.com to order a reprint of the photo. Find more work by him at the Painted Wren Gallery.

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