A couple of weeks ago we went with our local Audubon group which sponsored a really interesting field trip today to a fascinating area of Central California - the vernal pools and open grassland area around the UC campus. This is an area where seasonal wetlands/pools form on a clay pan terrain and is home to a number of unusual and endangered critters including fairy shrimp. (We indeed saw some!)
Since it was Audubon, of course we saw lots of great birds also, including bald eagles, a prairie falcon, and some of the group saw a Peregrine Falcon, which we weren't lucky enough to spot.
The preserve maintains a herd (herds perhaps) of dairy cattle who are "prettier" than the beef cattle around our place, but are spooky and silly things that hopped around in consternation when our group drove by.
This is a vista view of the landscape with one of the several windmills still in operation.