RaysWeather.com Announces 2019 Blue Ridge Parkway Calendar Photo Winners

Published Friday, May 18, 2018 at 4:07 pm

Calendar cover by Johnny Davison

By Nathan Ham

The photos that will fill the 2019 version of the RaysWeather.com Blue Ridge Parkway Calendar have been decided with the cover photo winner belonging to area photographer Johnny Davison.

Ray Russell, owner and operator of RaysWeather.com, says they’ve been printing the calendar for about 15 years, long enough to forget what the exact date was of the first edition.

The calendar features the best shots from places along the Blue Ridge Parkway. A portion of the money is donated to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, headquartered in Asheville.

“I think over the last four or five years, they have received well in excess of $10,000 from our calendar sales,” Russell said.

The way the selection process works is photographers send in the best photos they have, and they will be voted on and chosen by Ray and his staff.

“Since it is a Blue Ridge Parkway calendar, we need to distribute the scenery from the north end to the south end,” Russell said. “We tend to get a lot of photography from around here that doesn’t make it in the calendar. We can only do so many scenes of Price Lake, Grandfather Mountain, Bass Lake and Cone Manor.”

Russell says that he sees the calendar as a way to highlight those special shots where “somebody just had to be at the right place at the right time to get it.

“We don’t tend to put a lot of iconic scenes from the parkway in the calendar,” he added.

Each year, the contest continues to grow. Russell said that they received 720 photo entries this year and had over 16,000 votes online.

“We love it being a crowd sourced photo contest. We try to do stuff that’s just unique, stuff where you’d just have to have been there at the right moment to catch it,” said Russell.

Now that the winners have been announced, Ray and his staff will be busy for the next to months putting the calendar together to be printed.

Each year, the calendar also includes more than just the photos and the days of the week. Typically there has been a two-page feature on a person or place involving the parkway. Last year, Russell featured his story of running the entire Blue Ridge Parkway, 469 miles in 23 days.

“This year we had some good friends that hike waterfalls every day. They have some amazing photography so we’re going to feature waterfalls on the Blue Ridge Parkway this year,” said Russell.

The photographers that had their photos selected for use also get some space to detail their lives.

“We really want to tell the story of the photographer and we want the photographer to tell the story of the photo,” Russell said.

The calendar also includes local weather and climate data from month to month.

As of right now, Ray says that they do not have a projected print date for the calendar but he expects it will take probably a month to put it together.

“Maybe by mid-June we should actually have them in print and available for sale,” he said.

The calendar will also include November and December of this year so you can put the calendar up on the wall this winter.

For more information, click to www.raysweather.com

November 2018, Kathryn Greven

December 2018, Terry Barnes

January, Lynn Willis

February, Gabriel Swinney

March, Sara Kratt

April, Danny Redd

 

May, Mike Duncan

 

June, Susan Murphy

July, Lisa Wilmoth

 

August, Jim Magruder

September, Bonita Loggins

October, Kristina Love

 

November, Meta Gatschenberger

December, Leslie Restivo

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