PORT ANGELES — Photographs of the beautiful but deadly scotch broom have won prizes in the Clallam County Noxious Weed Control Board’s first photography contest.
The “Show Us Your Weeds Photo Contest” was created to bring awareness to the noxious weed with showy yellow blooms that is steadily overtaking wildlife habitat on the North Olympic Peninsula.
Residents were invited to submit photos “of the biggest, meanest and gnarliest infestation of sotch broom in Clallam County.”
A few dozen people responded, said Shelley Taylor, volunteer public relations coordinator for the Clallam County Noxious Weed Control Board.
Voting on the winners earlier this month were weed control board members Eric Adolphsen, Fred Grant, Tom Jensen, Bruce Paul and Jane Vanderhoof.
All the winners were from Port Angeles and Sequim, Taylor said.
Prizes were donations from local businesses.
The first-place winner was Gretha Davis, whose entry features two people removing towering 10-foot-tall blooming scotch broom plants from a hillside wilderness area where they had endangered native plants that provide wildlife habitat.
Although the contest was only for shots of scotch broom, judges were impressed that this photograph showed people removing it, Taylor said.
“That really pleased them,” Taylor said.
Davis won a dinner for two at LD’s Woodfire Grill in Port Angeles.
Second place went to Roger Mosley. His photograph focuses on a thicket of golden scotch broom all but burying a weather-beaten fallen tree, a glimpse of a cloud-filled sky and the Olympics in the background, Taylor said.
Mosley won a lunch for two at the Old Mill Cafe in Carlsborg.
Bob Lampert won third place with an image of snow-capped Olympic Mountains and a stand of giant Douglas firs overshadowed by a field of brilliant yellow scotch broom. The photo illustrates the scale of infestation to the detriment of native plants and wildlife, Taylor said.
Lampert won a free day at Olympic Game Farm.
“There were so many excellent entries, the board decided to award honorable mentions,” Taylor said.
Mosley, the second-place winner, also won an honorable mention for a panoramic scene of forest and meadow dwarfed by a field of long-ago established scotch broom.
Also receiving an honorable mention was Bill Wamsley for his photo of a hillside of just-about-to-bloom scotch broom featuring one of the many tools for eradication that can be used to control it.
A third honorable mention award went to Dan and Judy Harvey for their entry of a bee on a scotch broom blossom.
“The deceptive beauty of the plant attracts one of our necessary pollinators, reminding us that although this plant is pretty, it is creating a mono-culture that means food for pollinators will be short-lived,” Taylor said.