Robert Metropulos of Arbor Vitae won the 2020 Wisconsin waterfowl stamp contest with his painting of wood ducks. According to a Wisconsin DNR press release, he learned how to paint from his mother, who was an artist herself. Growing up, Metropulos's mother used drawings and pictures as teaching tools. He felt this helped him to overcome dyslexia, a diagnosis he received later when he was in college. Metropulos said that he does not see dyslexia as a disability but instead feels it has helped him to become an even better painter. Metropulos has been painting since he was in high school and has owned an art gallery in northern Wisconsin for over 39 years. His advice to new painters is to find what makes you happy in life and go from there.

"Happiness," he said, "is the greatest inspiration."

In his free time, he enjoys gardening, disc golfing and photography.

It is important to note that an electronic "stamp approval" is printed on the licenses of all waterfowl hunters at the time of purchase. Hunters will not receive an actual stamp unless they request it. To obtain a physical copy of a stamp, visit any DNR Service Center.

For more information regarding Wisconsin's wildlife stamps, visit the website and search keywords “wildlife stamps."

Nature notes

Have you noticed? Fall is in the air. Some trees are already changing color, especially in lowland areas where frost has already arrived on some nights. Bird migration is well underway with nighthawks moving through Fifield this past week and small warblers are on the move too. Male ruby-throated hummingbirds have left our area, or will leave soon, followed by the females. Leave your hummingbird feeders up until around the end of September to provide needed energy for hummingbirds migrating through our area from the far north. And be bear aware for your bird feeders as bears are bulking up for winter. Monarchs are leaving, or have already left, for their long 2,000-mile journey to their wintering ground in Mexico. Goldenrod and asters are in full bloom providing needed nectar for the last remaining pollinators; crickets are singing loudly during the night. Many animals are starting to form their winter coats for colder weather. All in all, it is a great time to be outside enjoying nature and the changing seasons minus the hordes of biting insects we experienced earlier this year.

(Copyright © 2019 APG Media)

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