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Great Basin National Park in Nevada

Jim Colton - Palo Alto, CA

AARP Foundation Calendar Contest Winners

The results are in, and once again AARP members came through with flying colors in our annual Calendar Contest. Our judges faced a monumental task combing through the tremendous number of entries that were submitted from across the country this year. But we think you’ll agree that they found great examples of this year’s theme, "Life’s Small Treasures." The treasures might be “small” but their impact certainly isn’t, as you’ll see below.

A special thank you goes to all of those who submitted photographs, and to our judges: Haili Francis, Major Gifts Officer, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage; Steven D. Fleshman, Founder/Creative Partner, DR2; and Forrest MacCormack, professional photographer based in the Washington, D.C., area.

Tremont Stream in the Fall

Michael Amos - Cumming, GA

October 2021

Tremont Stream in the Fall

Mossy rocks and babbling brooks are just a few things one might find exploring outdoors. Michael Amos came upon this beautiful scene while searching for a wooded haven to enjoy a moment of peace. Michael has always held nature in high esteem and has dedicated many days to clearing trails so others can make discoveries like these. He encourages everyone to “take a moment to get outside and just breathe.

Pelican Perches on Stump

Thomas Regan - Pompano Beach, FL

November 2021

My Spot

Proving that something special can be observed in all places,  Thomas Regan captured this colorful pelican enjoying “his spot” in the back bay area of a Texas tackle shop where Thomas was purchasing shrimp. After seeing how content this pelican was on his perch, Thomas knew he just had to take his picture.

Water and Ice

Sherry Pardue - Fairfax Station, VA

December 2021

Water and Ice

In life, we have no idea where our path will lead. This was especially true for Sherry Pardue, who captured this frozen waterfall while hiking in Montana with her husband, Todd. Sherry and Todd set out on a “Great Western Trip” to celebrate their recent retirement. After hours of hiking, they still hadn’t reached the end of the trail, but Sherry was determined. This wonderful shot was a welcome reward for their efforts.  

Wintery White Out

Daniel Chambers - Weehawken, NJ

January 2022

White Out

While traveling home on the bus, Daniel Chambers was struck by the way the melting snow and mist on an unseasonably warm day created an eerie fog over a frozen lake in James Jay Braddock Park in New Jersey. Grabbing his camera, he captured this moment. Daniel recently picked up photography again in retirement and has enjoyed discovering beauty in his surrounding area.

Harbinger of Spring

Kevin Halloran - Somerset, NJ

February 2022

Harbinger of Spring

When Kevin Halloran retired at the beginning of 2020, he looked forward to spending his free time traveling with his wife and practicing photography around the world. Although the coronavirus pandemic prevented him from doing so, his appreciation grew for the nature around him, like this bright little goldfinch he spotted in the woods behind his home — a sign that spring would be here soon.

Chameleon Greeting

Dan Thirkill - Farmington, UT

March 2022

Chameleon Greeting

While waiting for his family outside a small Maui café, Dan Thirkill spotted this chameleon among the bright foliage. Dan has been practicing photography since childhood, and now that he’s happily retired, he’s looking forward to spending more time traveling, seeing family, and taking more pictures.

Wild and Delicate Queen Anne's Lace

Diane Bowlin - Vinton, VA

April 2022

Wild & Delicate Queen Anne's Lace

While driving the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, Diane Bowlin spotted this lovely scene of delicate Queen Anne’s Lace wildflowers against a weather-worn rail fence and pulled over to capture them. Diane began photography to add imagery to her original poetry and now has found photos oftentimes inspire her writing.

Pink Flamingo

Ed Langmaid- San Diego, CA

May 2022

The Zoo is Open

Ed Langmaid and his wife spent a day enjoying the animals at the San Diego Zoo when he caught this serene pink flamingo staring at him. Ed has been practicing photography since he was 15 and loves how photography allows him to preserve small memories and treasures, like this unique encounter.

Antelope Canyon

Ramon Aliño - Oroville, CA

June 2022

Antelope Canyon

Ramon Aliño, traveling with his wife, was fortunate enough to hike Antelope Canyon in the Navajo Nation. The beautiful light and colors bouncing off the canyon walls jumped out to him, and he knew he had to capture this memory. Ramon always keeps his camera with him whenever he can so he may preserve these images of life’s small treasures.

Tomato Hornworms

Henrietta Smith - Naples, FL

July 2022

Tomato Hornworms

It was hard for Henrietta Smith to miss these tiny tomato hornworms when they were helping themselves to her garden plants. Having practiced photography for over 30 years, she knew that sacrificing her tomatoes was a small price to pay to capture this charming nature scene.

Narrowleaf Sunflowers

Carol Brott - Cape Coral, FL

August 2022

Narrowleaf Sunflowers

Carol Brott caught these flowers shining in the sun while driving on a dirt road en route to Pepper Ranch, Florida. She and her husband belong to a local camera club and enjoy showcasing their nature photography and Carol felt she had to catch these flowers blooming during their short window of time.

Never Lose Your Sense of Wonder

Nancy Padilla - Santee, CA

September 2022

Never Lose Your Sense of Wonder

Nancy Padilla’s interest in photography started in 2012. Not long afterward, she found herself volunteering her skills to a local animal shelter, helping to photograph animals that were up for adoption. These days she primarily focuses her lens on the dogs playing in her neighborhood, like the two captured here.

Tiny Burrowing Owl

Linda Hollingdale - Hinesburg, VT

October 2022

Tiny Burrowing Owl

Since Linda Hollingdale picked up her first Kodak Brownie at age 9, she’s been taking photographs whenever she sees an opportunity. She found one such opportunity last year while on a trip to Cape Coral, Florida, to see the owls during their nest-building season, when she shot this photograph of an owl standing watch over its nesting area.

Great Basin National Park in Nevada

Jim Colton - Palo Alto, CA

November 2022

Great Basin National Park, Nevada

In the process of visiting all 63 national parks, Jim Colton snapped this serene mountain scene while traveling through Great Basin in Nevada. Happening upon such a beautiful vista, in what is largely a barren landscape, was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him.

Suzhou Park Bridge

David Lear - Yarmouth Port, MA

December 2022

Suzhou Park Bridge

This blue bridge, stark against its snowy landscape, caught David Lear’s eye while walking through the park in Suzhou, China. In the area on business, David was struck to find such a quiet and tranquil scene in a city with a population of over 10 million.  

Communicating with Nature Sunrise

William Tipton - Monterey, CA

Inside Cover

Communicating with Nature

An early riser, William Tipton enjoys waking up before sunrise and strolling along the beach not far from his home in Monterey, California. One foggy June morning, Tipton witnessed a young woman peacefully paddle boarding out into the water, communing with nature before the day began. Utilizing skills learned from his 5th grade teacher, Tipton captured this moment of calm.

Fog on Tupper Lake

Gary Larsen- Northville, NY

Back Cover

Fog on Tupper Lake

The vision for this image came to Gary Larsen long before the opportunity to capture it. Larsen passed by this tranquil spot many times during his adventures in the northern Adirondacks. He knew the scene would be most beautiful surrounded by fall foliage. Patiently, he waited. Finally, on one foggy October day, the moment presented itself. This spectacular scene was well worth the wait.

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