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27 beautiful images to make you love area nature for Earth Day


In celebration of Earth Day on Saturday, we went into our archives to find some of the best nature photos captured by our photographers in the past decade.

» AERIAL VIDEO: The serene Spring Valley Wildlife Area, providing nature views in Greene County

» GET OUT: 5 places you must visit this spring

» NEW OPTIONS: 7 things you need to try at Five Rivers MetroParks this spring

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

The first signs of spring were evident at Cox Arboretum Metropark in this March 2011 photo. JIM WITMER / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

Members of the "Red Hot Mamas," a chapter of the Red Hat Society from Miamisburg, took a stroll through Miamisburg. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

"Blaze of Glory" hosta was one of the hundreds of plants that were sold at the Wegerzyn Gardens Foundation 36th annual MayFair plant sale in 2008. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

Taking advantage of the warm weather despite a constant drizzle, Barb Ortel of Tipp City walked the winding road for exercise in Taylorsville MetroPark near Brown School Road in Vandalia in 2008. JIM WITMER / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

Neil Chapman, 3, takes a look at the blooming flowers at Cox Arboretum & Gardens MetroPark Sunday while visiting with his mother, Dee Chapman of Centerville. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

A Great Blue Heron silently stalks its prey in the shallow waters along the Island MetroPark bike path. JIM WITMER/STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

Melissa Liput of Dayton (right) takes a walk through Cox Arboretum MetroPark in Miami Twp. with Quinn Eversole and Andrew Wunderlich, both 4 years old and from Dayton, to enjoy the sunshine and blooming spring flowers. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

A pair of ducks go tales up to feed from the bottom of a pond at Cox Arboretum and MetroPark in Miami Twp. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

MetroParks employee Dan Sahli tours the Medlar Bikeway. JIM WITMER / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

Hikers take a walking tour of the 112-acre Huffman Prairie State Natural Landmark. Five Rivers MetroParks has partnered with WPAFB since 1988 to restore the prairie which is one of the largest tallgrass prairie remnants in Ohio. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

A Bald Eagle flies over the marina at Hueston Woods State Park on May 16, 2014. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

Brett Layton of Beavercreek takes a run with his dog "Meaty" along the path near Deeds Point MetroPark in Dayton. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

A frog suns itself near the bank of dogwood pond at Hills and Dales Metropark in Kettering. MICHAEL FRANZ / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

A Cecropia moth caterpillar munches on a leaf inside the Butterfly House at Cox Arboretum MetroPark. JIM WITMER / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

A Great Spangled Fritillary sits on a purple cone flower at the Aullwood Audubon Center prairie. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

Dave McAfee fishes the Mad River flowing into the Huffman Dam. JIM WITMER/STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

Hiking in Taylorsville MetroPark in Vandalia during the winter can offer views of milkweed pods in managed grasslands, mature wooded ravines and the Great Miami River. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

A deer stands in a lawn in the area of Park Road near Ridgeway in Oakwood. JIM WITMER / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

Fall leaves float across reflections of trees on Dogwood Pond located at Hills & Dales MetroPark in Kettering. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

The Tree Tower at Cox Arboretum MetroPark in Miami Twp. The observation tower, which rises 46 feet above the ground, was designed by Belgian landscape architect Francois Goffinet. At the top visitors have a panoramic view of a collection of conifers and the arboretum grounds. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

Tyler Mittlestead and his English setter Chester take a paddle at Eastwood MetroPark Lake. Mittlestead, of Centerville, said it was Chester's first time on the stand up paddle board. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

Over 50 kayakers made up of students from the University of Dayton's River Stewards program start a two-day trip down the Great Miami River in August. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

The Jean V. Woodhull Prairie at Possum Creek MetroPark in Dayton is a good place to view tall grasses, flowers, birds and insects from summer into fall. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

A spicebush swallowtail flits around the butterfly house at Cox Arboretum and Gardens MetroPark. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

An ancient Elm tree about six feet around sits on a 15-acre property along the Stillwater River that Five Rivers MetroParks. JIM WITMER / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

More than 500 bicyclists commute to Riverscape MetroPark in downtown Dayton for a free pancake breakfast on National Bike to Work Day. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Nature views in Dayton and the Miami Valley

Turtles warm themselves on a rock at Cox Arboretum and MetroPark in Miami Twp. LISA POWELL / STAFF


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