Back to February 2022

Letter from the Editor: “Morning Shade”

Winner of our 4th Annual Photo Contest from Lanessa and Matt Dowden

Morning sunlight shine through the canopies of a mature pecan orchard and cast a golden hue across the orchard floor.

The winning photo from our 4th Annual Photo Contest. Morning shade at Calianna Pecan Farms in Effie, Louisiana. (Photo by Matt & Lanessa Dowden)

Dear Readers,

I am happy to announce the winner of our fourth annual Harvest Photo Contest—“Morning Shade,” submitted and taken by Lanessa and Matt Dowden. The Dowdens share a peaceful moment in their orchard, Calianna Pecan Farms, in Effie, Louisiana. 

Congratulations, Matt and Lanessa! Thank you for sharing this photo with us. Readers, you can spot their winning picture on our cover.

This year we followed the same process that was established four years ago when selecting a winner. In October 2021, we opened our Photo Contest to submissions and received entries from around the world. Pecan growers and industry members took time to capture the beauty of their orchard and pecan businesses. From sunsets during harvest to glimpses of wildlife, entries showcased the wonder felt when growing pecans.

After the submission deadline, the Pecan South staff narrowed down the photos to five finalists and then created a poll. This poll was shared via email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and allowed all of you—our readers—to vote for a winner. Lanessa and Matt’s photo shows a familiar scene that touched many voters.

We’ll be back this fall for our fifth photo contest. So if you’d like a chance at getting on the cover, you can start taking photos and thinking about your entries now. And maybe, it’ll be your photo on the February 2023 cover!

I’d also like to recognize our four other finalists David Sanders with 3SA for Veterans, Arri Sofia with Rigel Farms, Patina Thompson, and Claire Winn. Their beautiful photos can be found on page 42.

Congrats to Matt and Lanessa! And thank you again to everyone who sent us a photo! We enjoyed seeing parts of your life and pecan operation, and I can’t wait to see the great pictures you all take for the next contest. You are indeed the best part of this magazine.


Catherine Clark

Managing Editor

Author Photo

Catherine Clark

Catherine Clark is the managing editor of Pecan South. She has her M.S. in Journalism from the University of Southern California, and her B.A. in Communication and Spanish from Trinity University. For questions, comments or concerns, she can be reached at