Work by Mid-Ohio Valley photographers showcased in West Virginia calendar

Photo Provided Ronda Knight of St. Marys shot the cover photo for the 2018 Roadsides in Bloom calendar sponsored by the departments of Environmental Protection and Transportation in West Virginia.

PARKERSBURG — A picture by a St. Marys woman whose hobby is photography was chosen for the cover of a calendar being published by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Transportation.

Ronda Knight’s photo of goldenrod growing next to a barn in Pleasants County will be the cover of the 2018 Roadsides in Bloom calendar. A photo by Sharon Carper of Parkersburg, a hobbyist photographer, too, also was selected for the calendar.

Knight said she was surprised.

“Big time,” she said.

Knight, who read a story about the contest in The Parkersburg News and Sentinel, took the photo on Sept. 16 on Mount Carmel Ridge north of St. Marys. With her husband, Charlie, her original plan was to take a photo of the white flowers in bloom, but those were gone.

Photo Provided An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly atop an ironweed plant is the June cover photo of the 2018 Roadsides in Bloom calendar. Sharon Carper took the photo this summer in Roane County.

“I saw the goldenrod and I thought that would be kind of pretty,” she said.

Knight used a Samsung Galaxy 4 telephone to take the photo. “It takes really, really clear pictures,” she said.

Knight has been interested in photography since she was a child. The calendar contest is her first win, although she also submitted photos for the calendar produced by the Pleasants County Library.

“Since I was a teenager, I’ve enjoyed photography,” Knight said.

Carper enjoys riding on her Suzuki motorscooter with her cameras and dogs, Sam and Libby, looking for targets of photographic opportunity. The automatic transmission of the scooter makes it easy to shoot a photo, she said.

Photo Provided Sharon Carper of Parkersburg rides her scooter with Libby, a Bichon Frise, on the back. Riding her scooter with camera hand is Carper’s favorite way to find photographic opportunities.

She said she shot the June calendar photo using a Canon EOS 7D Mark II digital SLR of an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly lit atop an ironweed plant. The photo was taken in late summer on Left Hand Road in Roane County where she was riding her scooter.

“That’s my other hobby,” she said. “I just learned to ride a few years back and got my motorcycle endorsement.”

Carper won The News and Sentinel Pet Calendar contest this year, too. Her dogs Libby and Sam are favorite subjects of her photos.

“They play together and they take pictures together,” Carper said.

A year ago Carper placed in a national Pier One Import contest, of which three of her photos were in the Top 25 among 22,000 submissions.

The calendar, which is free, includes wildflowers growing naturally along roads in the Operation Wildflower beds planted by the Division of Highways.

No more calendars are available, according to the Department of Environmental Protection website, More than 25,000 requests were made for a calendar, a spokesman said.

Other photographers whose pictures will be in the calendar are Ed Rehbein of Beckley, Mindy Armstrong of Monterey, Va., Rebecca Byars of Crawley, W.Va., Kathryn Davis of Hambleton, W.Va., Pat Johnson of Mount Lookout, W.Va., Michael Juratovac of Belington, W.Va., Sandra Miller of Buckhannon, Alan Tucker of Buckhannon, Ann Walker of Hillsboro, W.Va., and Eugene Walker of Hillsboro.

Dozens of photographs were entered by residents of West Virginia and surrounding states.

Operation Wildflower is a beautification program by the departments of transportation and environment. About 250 acres of wildflowers are grown along West Virginia roads.