Ithaca, N.Y. — The local National Weather Service station — based out of Binghamton but covering Ithaca, the Finger Lakes and much of Central New York — just concluded its “photo of the year” contest.

Ithaca Is Bluegrass Jan. 23-25

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The winner? The following image, of a sunset at Delta Lake State Park, from Blaine Stauffer. (All photos below are reproduced with the permission of the NWS.)

The weather service had a bracket-style tournament with different rounds to determine the winner of the photo contest. The photos with the most Facebook “likes” advanced to the next round.

The other finalist, which finished in second place, was taken by Earl Lucas, and it shows an Osprey with a fish at Lackawanna State Park in Pennsylvania.

Here it is:

There were dozens of fantastic entries. The rules for the contest, for purists:

“The photo must be an original and be about the weather, astronomy, or nature. We will -not- use your photo if it is not an original. Please do not post obvious fake photos. Some slight enhancements of your photo is allowed but overly enhanced or composite images will not be accepted

Below the photos and captions come from the NWS.

17 shots from the NWS photo of the year contest:

Marty Pietrowski. Frozen Beauty. Keene Valley NY:

Blaine Stauffer, Sunset at Delta Lake State Park, NY:

Blaine Stauffer, Starry Night on Star Hill, Oneida County, NY:

Blaine Stauffer (he was a popular photographer!), Crepuscular Rays over Delta Lake State Park, NY:

Marny Kinne, Swamp with Fall Colors, Verona NY:

Diane Marshman, Waterfalls, New Milford, PA:

Lori Koblanski. Newton Creek. Bainbridge NY:

Rick Crowell. Foxes. Sherburne NY:

Blaine Stauffer. Starry Night. Oneida County NY:

Liz Thompson. Small Visitor. Smyrna NY:

Emily Alexandra. Sun and Clouds. Greenfield Township PA:

Ben Hillage. Red Barn. Sylvan Beach NY:

Andrew Blackman. Deer sticking tongue out. McDonough NY:

Trisha Anne Myers. Bell overlooking island. Monhegan Island, Maine:

Matt Champlin. Sunrise. Skaneateles, NY:

Sam Martin. Sunset over Paupackan Lake. Lakeville PA:

Rick Crowell. Milky Way. Sherburne NY:

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.