Elkins Rotary members were treated to a slide show Monday of West Virginia photographs featuring some of the state's most beautiful natural areas.
The pictures were taken by Kent Mason, who lives part of the year in Dry Fork and the rest of the year in Rockville, Md.
Mason is a full-time landscape and nature photographer and conservationist. He is currently creating a photographic environmental study of extraordinary wild places in the highlands of West Virginia. The effort is a collaboration between Mason and the Nature Conservancy, and will be titled "The Wild Alleghenies."
He has been involved in photography for more than 30 years, and has been teaching visual design classes for 12 years.
Mason's work has been displayed in the National Wildlife Federation headquarters. He has published images in calendars, books and "Nature's Best" magazine. He also leads photo tours in the West Virginia highlands.
"Bear Rocks Preserve is my favorite photo location," Mason said. "It is a Nature Conservancy Preserve."
Mason said the Allegheny Mountains stretch from the Carolinas to Maine.
"There are higher peaks in other states," he said. "But West Virginia has the highest average elevation in the range. These mountains are the second oldest in the world and were created when the African and American continents collided."
Mason said the area is beautiful in the fall. During the first or second week in October, the blueberry bushes turn red, he said.
Mason's images are available at wvphotographs.com.
Also during Monday's meeting, Rotarian Ron Laneve reminded the group that Wednesday is World Polio Day. Members are invited to go online and participate in "the world's biggest commercial," promoting the global effort to eradicate polio.
"End Polio Now," an eclectic album of songs performed by Rotary's celebrity polio eradication ambassadors from the music industry- including polio survivors Itzhak Perman, Donovan and Benda Bilili - will be available via iTunes and at shop.rotary.org, according to a press release from Rotary International.