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Two photographers — one a geneticist and the other a retired mailman — demonstrate their passion for nature in an intriguing and often eye-popping exhibit.
“Bugs & Birds Up Close,” on view at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center, presents photographs of arthropods by David Greenberg (the geneticist) and photographs of raptors and other birds by Richard Schnuerer (the former mailman). The photographs are hung throughout the nature education and conservation center that’s located near Downtown Columbus.  
Greenberg, a Bexley resident whose been taking photographs since he was a child, also has had a lifelong fascination with insects, spiders and crustaceans. 
“I find insects particularly interesting because people are afraid of them,” Greenberg said. 
Obviously, he has no such fears. Greenberg patiently spent two weeks watching a spider protecting its eggs in his closet, eventually coming away an up-close portrait. 
All of Greenberg’s images are bigger than life, shot with a variety of cameras and mostly printed in glossy color on aluminum. 
His “Tawny Emperor Butterfly,” unlike most photographs that focus on the insect’s patterned wings, offers a good view of the butterfly’s eyes and its proboscis extracting food. The “Galapagos Grasshopper” appears in camouflage in a setting of reeds. “Giant Water Bug with Eggs” shows the male protecting dozens of eggs on its back.
Greenberg has shot carpenter bees, honeybees, dragonflies, spiders and one of his personal favorites, centipedes. One set of pictures centers on a hard fact of nature: bugs eating other bugs. 
Greenberg has a great eye for capturing insect action in perfect light, sometimes even coming up with a water reflection of his tiny subjects. 
Just as compelling are the birds, photographed by New Albany resident Schnuerer largely at Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks. His raptors include hawks, osprey, eagles and owls. 
Several photos star Hedwig, the juvenile snowy owl who took up residence in 2021 at Alum Creek. In his photographs, Schnuerer caught Hedwig in repose and in flight.
Demonstrating the photographer’s patience in obtaining a shot, “The Intruder” shows one osprey hovering over a nest in his attempt to dislodge a pair of ospreys from their home. A glare of anger and fear is evident in the female’s eyes. 
Schnuerer has photographed eagles in flight and a pair of the majestic birds, who usually mate for life, sitting companionably on a branch. 
Schnuerer has studied his subjects and readily shares a wealth of information about them. He passionately relates, for instance, how the bald eagle has made a comeback in Ohio from only four nesting pairs in 1979 to more than 700 nests in 2020. 
Aside from raptors, his exhibit includes other birds, especially several stunning photos of hummingbirds. He’s caught them in mid-flight with their tiny wings vibrating as they feed from flowers. 
Schnuerer and Greenberg had not met before their exhibit opened but each was a fan of the Audubon Center,— where staffer Sandy Libertini came up with the notion of displaying their works together. 
“Bugs & Birds Up Close” is an ideal exhibit for the winter months as we all wait for warmer weather when we see even more of the real thing outdoors.
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“Bugs & Birds Up Close” continues through March 13 at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center, 505 W. Whittier St. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Face masks and social distancing are required. Call 614-545-5475 or visit grange.audubon.org.

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