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March 2012
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May 2012

California Watchable Wildlife Photo Contest

Grand Prize Award Presentation

CAWW Photo Winners Feb 2012February was the final month of the year-long Photo Contest. We would like to thank the photographers who submitted almost 900 images over the course of the year.

Their beautiful images have been appreciated by readers of Outdoor California, by visitors to the California Watchable Wildlife display at numerous wildlife festivals, and enjoyed and shared by visitors to our Facebook page. Our website is so much more colorful and attractive with these spectacular images!

Please join us at 1:00pm on Monday, April 23, 2012 when California Department of Fish & Game Director Chuck Bonham presents the Grand Prize Award on the South Steps of the State Capitol. The twelve monthly first-place winning images will be on display outside the Governor's Office from April 23-27.

Please watch for our People's Choice Award email, and vote for your selection from all 36 monthly winning images. The People's Choice winner will also be recognized at the Capitol on April 23.

See all the monthly winners and entries on Facebook. We hope you will continue to visit our website, to recommend the California Watchable Wildlife Facebook page to your friends, and share your stories about California's premier wildlife viewing experiences!

The February winning photos, along with the Grand Prize winning image, will be published in the March/April issue of Outdoor California

The year-long contest was conducted in cooperation with Outdoor California, a bi-monthly publication of the California Department of Fish & Game.
Watchable Wildlife Photo Contest

Grand Prize Award Presentation

1:00-3:00pm Monday, April 23, 2012

South Steps, California State Capitol

Sacramento, California

Wildflowers Arrive at Jepson Prairie Preserve

Wondrous Wildflowers & Amazing Aquatic Critters at Jepson Prairie
Courtesy of Solano Land Trust

Olcott Lake at Jepson Prairie_Photo by Bud Turner, WildLight PhotographyThanks to recent rains, Jepson Prairie’s wildflowers and aquatic invertebrates are emerging.  Come explore this preserve – one of California’s best remaining examples of a vernal pool ecosystem and native grassland prairie. Docents are leading guided tours on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to noon through the month of April, and likely until Mother’s Day on May 13, 2012.  If you can't make the Solano Land Trust tours, enjoy a self-guided nature hike of Jepson Prairie.

The very low rainfall through February presented serious challenges to the aquatic invertebrates and tiny plants of Jepson Prairie, but the recent rain has much improved their prospects. Docent Kate Mawdsley explains, “We're excited to see how the invertebrates and plants do with this unusual pattern. They now seem to be coming along”.

Explore how the tiny plants and aquatic invertebrate are responding to this year’s weather on an easy, meand Docent Jane Hicks leading tour of Jepson Prairie_Photo by Natalie DuMont (1)ering walk in a portion of the Preserve only accessible with a Jepson Prairie docent.  All docents are highly trained and many have been studying Jepson Prairie for decades, so they’ll have interesting insights to share about how this year compares to years past.

Visitors should bring protection from sun and wind – it is often windy at Jepson Prairie.  They should also be prepared for the chance of fog, rain and wet trails. Water is a must since there is no drinking water onsite. The Jepson Prairie Preserve is located at the intersection of Highway 113 and Cook Lane, 13 miles south of Dixon. Go straight at flashing light onto Cook Lane, gravel road. Parking is along the road near the eucalyptus trees. Steady or medium to heavy rain cancels. 

Since its founding in 1986, Solano Land Trust has permanently protected more than 20,000 acres of working farms and natural areas in Solano County.  Learn more, see a full list of outdoor adventures, and become a member at

What: Docent-led tours of the Jepson Prairie Preserve
Who: Solano Land Trust & Jepson Prairie Docents

When: Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to noon, through the month of April and likely until Mother’s Day (May 13, 2012). 
Where: Jepson Prairie Preserve, Intersection of Highway 113 and Cook Lane, 13 miles south of Dixon. Go straight at flashing light onto Cook Lane, gravel road.
Why: See the wondrous wildflowers and amazing aquatic invertebrates of Jepson Prairie.
Cost: Donation suggested but not required.
RSVP:  None

Photos from our tour on April 8, 2012

California Artists Put on Incredible Show at Oakwilde Ranch Exhibition

The Puppet By Hijiri Yahagi South San Francisco 2Best of Show is Amazing Life-sized Ceramic Puppet
by Barbara L. Steinberg

Fresh in off the road from Oakwilde Ranch & Sculpture and a most amazing event. In time I will write more and post all the photos, but for the moment...the incredible Best of Show winner of the 2012 Spring Sculpture Exhibition was an incredibly talented young woman, Hijiri Yahagi.

One of three in the life-sized series "I Am Puppet".

The exhibition, juried by Scott Shields, Chief Curator of Crocker Art Museum, is open by appointment only for the next six weeks. "I would have selected any one of the three for Best of Show," Scott said!

Contact Oakwilde Ranch & Sculpture in Valley Springs -- Calaveras County, in case you're wondering.