Benton Hot Springs Ranch field trip

On May 16, 2009, locals and visitors gathered at the Benton Hot Springs Ranch conservation easement, just outside of Benton, to have a morning adventure of birding and botanizing.

Audubon Naturalsit Claus Engelhardt spots a Ruddy Duck in the ponds.

Audubon Naturalist Claus Engelhardt spots a Ruddy Duck in the ponds.

Led by Claus Engelhardt of the Eastern Sierra Audubon Society, Stephen Ingram of the California Native Plant Society,  Karen Ferrell-Ingram of the ESLT, and Bill Bramlette, landowner, the morning was full of natural history tidbits.  Bill shared his four- generation perspective of the land and described how he manages the grazing to ensure that the thriving bird and rare plant habitats are maintained.

Field Trip participants search for waterfowl.

Field Trip participants search for waterfowl.

Heading out through the meadow, we marveled at how dry it was.

Heading out through the meadow

Spending time by the ponds watching migrating waterfowl, traipsing across the meadow searching for flowers amongst its dry grasses, finding a long-eared owl nest with watchful parent and wide-eyed owlet, and enjoying ice cold lemonade at the end of the morning all made the exploration of this place perfect.

Serena and Karen

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