Each year Farmers & Merchants Bank holds our annual contest for amateur photographers to showcase the natural beauty of Rockingham, Shenandoah, Page, and Augusta counties during all seasons of the year. 120 local photos were entered in the contest during 2017, and it was quite a task to pick a grand prize winner and 12 monthly winners. We will have calendars available in our branches by December 1st, so stop by and take one home or simply enjoy the winning photos below.

On May 1, 2017 we will begin accepting entries for our 2018 calendar contest, with a final deadline of August 1, 2017. All entries will be posted to our Facebook page on August 2, 2017 for the first round of voting.

ENTRY FORM & RULES: . Click here for a downloadable entry form and complete instructions. (this is in .PDF format, and Adobe Acrobat Reader should open the document for you)

Photos & Captions - 2017 Calendar

Grand Prize - Calendar Cover:

Our grand prize winner of the 2017 F&M Calendar Photography Contest was Ron Huffman.

Two days after Christmas in 2014, Ron Huffman captured these beautiful sunrise colors at Silver Lake in Dayton, Virginia. The sky colors were amazing, but were further enhanced by their reflections on the water. He was using his Canon Powershot SX 520 camera for the picture.


January:

Kay Wright had just received her Canon Rebel T2i digital SLR camera for Christmas when she took advantage of work being cancelled due to the snow received the night before. She went looking for photo ops on her farm located at the base of Massanutten Mountain in Penn Laird.


February:

This photo was taken west of Dayton on a snowy day by Merv Webb. He moved to a spot ahead of the sleigh and waited for good timing. This photo was taken west of Dayton at an Old Order Mennonite Church. Merv Webb was fascinated by the patient horse, but his mind was also attracted to its blue blanket and the orange slow-vehicle sign.


March:

This brilliant sunset occurred following a snowfall and set the western sky ablaze. This photo was taken in Chris Anderson’s backyard in Page County, looking towards the Massanutten Ridgeline. Chris imagined people all over the Shenandoah Valley taking in the sunset’s beauty - the colors were breathtaking. The photo was taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T4i.


April:

Emily Leary, age 15, took this photo of one of her Barred Rock hens during a sunny afternoon while the chickens were roaming in her backyard.


May:

Larry Painter took this photo through his kitchen window just outside his house. He named the mother deer Diamond and she keeps her one or two little ones close to his house every year to try and keep the coyotes from getting them.


June:

Tina Pangle kept an eye on this nest while sitting on her front porch swing. She waited until the eggs hatched, and the babies were big enough to catch a picture without getting too close. She took the photo with her Canon Rebel t5i.


July:

This beautiful Swallowtail Butterfly, poised on a Dame’s Rocket, was captured by Joy Beaman on Beldor Road, in eastern Rockingham County. Joy and husband, Wayne, enjoy exploring country roads on Sunday afternoons.


August:

Kathryn Leary, age 12, took this photo while walking down a quiet country road with her family. She liked how the sunset made the farm and flowers stand out.


September:

The beginnings of fall are mirrored in this picture of a cattle farm on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River in Warren County. Kim Garrison captured this photo while standing on the old, narrow bridge on Indian Hollow Road near the Bentonville Boat Ramp, before it was replaced.  It was taken with a Canon Rebel EOS 300D camera.


October:

Donna Nesselrodt of Bergton, VA, used her Canon SX710 HS camera to capture this cheery Autumn scene in Broadway. “I love photography--it’s a hobby you can take with you wherever you go!”


November:

Robert Williams was at the right spot when this young black bear suddenly made an appearance last November. The bear watched him taking photos for several minutes, and then it was Robert’s turn to watch as he searched nearby for wild grapes on the ground, and then up among the branches of some very tall trees. The photo was taken near Fulks Run with a Canon PowerShot SX60 HS digital camera.


December:

The calm just after the storm. As the last snowflake was falling, Rodney Schroeder found this male cardinal standing guard as his female companion got her fill at a bird feeder nearby.



Honorable Mention:   

This picture of a beautiful sunset over the valley, was taken by Emily Yankey after an enjoyable day on Skyline Drive with her family.