In stock

Trim: 10.5 x 13.5
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-891852-66-4

West Virginia Beauty: Familiar & Rare

Steve Shaluta and Jeanne Mozier

West Virginia Beauty. The Mountain State. To those familiar with West Virginia, those two phrases go hand in hand. West Virginian’s know how beautiful their state is, and they know the special places that define that beauty for them, be it out their kitchen window or their favorite vacation spot. And they also love when that beauty is captured in photographs to share with loved ones, near and far.

Hence, West Virginia Beauty: Familiar and Rare, which once again teams award-winning photographer Steve Shaluta and writer/entrepreneur Jeanne Mozier. Together-as they did with their successful Wonders of West Virginia-they have produced another love letter to the state in the form of a coffee table book. This book showcases the state’s beauty, including amazing geography, extraordinary wildlife, numerous historic sites, exciting recreational opportunities and more. Fans familiar with Shaluta’s work won’t be surprised to see a picture of a classic Mail Pouch barn or an exquisite West Virginia sunrise. But be prepared for some surprises, like the shot Steve took while lying in the snow, just at the moment that a fearless snowboarder flew over him.

Some of Shaluta’s best photos depict unusual weather, including the one that captures a mysterious early morning fog in Canaan Valley that left all the treetops frozen. The result is a ghostly gray vision where you can’t distinguish between earth, air and sky. The chilly sight of a frozen Blackwater Falls surrounded by snow drifts will make you scoot closer to the fire.

Steve’s close-up of West Virginia fiddles is more than just an artistic photograph. To Mountaineers it says heritage and pride, dancing and holidays, family gatherings and babies asleep in our arms. Drink in the calm of the classically beautiful Cheat Lake at sundown; or the velvety cedar wax wing perched on a pink blossom; or the humble bumble bee grazing at a redbud.

Jeanne Mozier says her favorites from the book are the shots of West Virginia wildlife. Of course, those of you familiar with Jeanne will know that her preferences run to the unusual or odd. So of course her favorite wildlife photo, her No. 1 pick, is the strange but endearing bold jumping spider. Look in these pages and you will see this creature-with its eight eyes and phosphorent green pincers-glaring at you with such audacity you won’t know whether to laugh out loud or head for the door. Happily, you learn that this tiny West Virginia native can fit on your pinky nail.

All in all, we believe that West Virginia Beauty depicts the very best the state has to offer, taken by one of the state’s pre-eminent photographers. It would be hard to find a collection of photographs of West Virginia that could be a better calling card, or more readily cause Mountaineers to smile with pride. Enjoy!


Book captures W.Va.’s beauty, from simple to spectacular

By Rick Steelhammer

Staff writer

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With untold thousands of photos in magazines, newspapers, tourism brochures and coffee table books — including more than 350 cover shots — you’d think photographer Steve Shaluta would be running out of striking West Virginia images to capture.

But you’d be wrong.

Shaluta has teamed up with Berkeley Springs writer and humorist Jeanne Mozier to create “West Virginia Beauty: Familiar & Rare,” a lovingly illustrated, 124-page salute to the people, places, critters and things that contribute to the state’s rugged good looks.

Shaluta, a photographer for the West Virginia Division of Commerce, is probably best known for producing numerous jaw-dropping outdoor and nature scenes for Wonderful West Virginia magazine. He and Mozier, the author of “Way Out in West Virginia,” a guidebook to the state’s offbeat attractions, collaborated on a previous coffee table book, “Wonders of West Virginia.”

As the first part of its title suggests, their new work, just released by Quarrier Press, covers a number of familiar outdoor scenes, ranging from Dolly Sods and Seneca Rocks to the Glade Creek Mill at Babcock State Park and the view of Harpers Ferry from Maryland Heights. Other familiar scenes are not iconic landscapes, but such everyday subjects as a beaver working in a pond or the symmetry of logs stacked in a series of log truck trailers.

West Virginia rarities showcased in the book include a close-up look at a tiny jumping spider from Shaluta’s backyard deck. Seen up close and personal, the harmless eight-eyed, green-pincered bug looks like an alien with an attitude.

My favorite photos include a shot of a bluebird perched atop the business end of a cannon at Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park. The bird’s mate is nesting inside the barrel of the Civil War artillery piece.

Other memorable images include a shot of an early snow mixing with fall colors along the Highland Scenic Highway in Pocahontas County, a snowboarder catching air high over Shaluta’s Canaan Valley vantage point, and an osprey at Stonewall Jackson Lake returning to its nest and waiting mate with dinner — a large fish — in its talons.

Shaluta said he waited about four hours to capture the osprey scene. “I knew the osprey would be back with food eventually, because you could hear her babies in the nest,” he said. Before the published photo was taken, the fish-bearing osprey landed several times at a nearby snag.

“She’d land away from the nest and call out to her fledglings,” Shaluta said. “I learned later that she was trying to coax her young birds into flying.”

Pages: 128