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Photographer Showcases Arctic At Oakhurst Audubon Program

OAKHURST – Everyone treasures one or more places in the world, near or distant, that are special to that individual. Those places fill our memories with yearning, they inspire our spirit to commune with the eternal, and best of all, they nurture our hearts to love.

It might be a white coral beach, a forest grove in winter, a canyon landscape at sunset–or simply a nearby foothill setting that evokes those personal memories and a sense of connection with what matters to us.For photographer Ashok Khosla, that place is the Arctic tundra. On Thursday, May 9, Ashok will present photos he has taken over the years in his beloved Alaska at the monthly program of the Yosemite Area Audubon Society (YAAS) in Oakhurst.

The presentation, “Landscapes, Memories, and Love – Arctic Adventures,” depicts red-throated loons fighting to the death, shows what an Alaskan reindeer really does during Christmas and best of all, showcases why the Arctic is such a magical and unique place. Come share Ashok’s delight in knowing there truly is no place like “Nome Sweet Nome.” The program is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Oakhurst Methodist Church on Road 426.

Ashok is the current president of the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society. He has worked as an architect, a software engineer and an entrepreneur. A computer graphics pioneer, Ashok holds patents that are still used today in tools like Adobe Photoshop’s airbrush and Adobe Illustrator’s AutoTrace. Numerous organizations such as Audubon, Associated Press, MSNBC, National Geographic, the National Wildlife Federation and USA Today have requested use of his photos.

Ashok’s extensive travels have taken him to many places, but every year, in June, he returns to the Arctic to lead nature photography tours and then teaches nature photography as an adjunct professor for the University of Alaska. Internet users can view his work at www.seeingbirds.com.

Ashok will sandwich his free slide program with a fee-based bird photography workshop that he will conduct as a benefit for the YAAS. After an introductory session from 7 – 10 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, participants will gather on the ensuing Saturday, May 11, at a private property in the Jerseydale area for a morning photo shoot and an afternoon meeting to learn how to post-process their digital images.

The workshop fee is $65 for YAAS members and $80 for non-members, whose fee includes a YAAS annual membership. For details about the workshop, see the accompanying article in this publication, call (209) 742-5579 or visit www.yosemiteaudubon.org. Registration is available on the website.

Like all YAAS programs, Ashok’s presentation May 9 is open and free to the public, although donations to defray program costs and to support the chapter’s local activities are appreciated. Refreshments will be available.

The YAAS will also offer its monthly birding trip Saturday, May 18, to Foresta in Yosemite. Participants should meet at the Midpines County Park on Highway 140 at 8:00 a.m. to carpool. El Portal residents can join the group about 8:45 a.m. in the parking area across from the Yosemite Conservancy offices.

Suitable for beginners, the trip is free and the public welcome. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring binoculars, field guides, snacks, lunch and beverages.

Call (209) 742-5579 or (209) 966-2547 or visit www.yosemiteaudubon.org for additional information about either the program or the birding trip.

The mission of the National Audubon Society, the namesake of noted 19th-century naturalist and bird painter John James Audubon; its state affiliate, Audubon California; and local chapters such as the Yosemite Area Audubon Society is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity.

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