AVIAN AFICIONADOS: While we have plenty of ways to get close to wildlife in California, whether through animal park visits or venturing with a guide into a forest or desert, there are certain beasties that aren't always as accessible. That's okay, of course -- constant access is something we humans don't need to ask of any creature -- but if we want to witness something a little rare, there is planning, waiting, and, ultimately, fingers crossed, enjoyment. The condors of Big Sur aren't exactly elusive, but hoping on an occasional tour with the Ventana Wildlife Society is a fine way to drink in lots of information regarding the huge-of-wing, once-nearly-extinct birds. But if you want to go a bit further, and see a condor at a closer distance, and a few raptors, too, and lend a hand to the preservation efforts surrounding the craggy-coastal icons, you can: Feathers in Flight, an afternoon fundraiser, will alight at Rancho Grande in Big Sur on Saturday, Sept. 6.
MEET DOLLY: Dolly, a condor, is expected to make a cameo. Her handlers "are approachable and knowledgeable" and "will allow photos of Dolly." Sweetness. Falconers will also be at Rancho Grande with a few raptors. Auctions, merch for sale, and "Adopt-a-Condor opportunities" are also part of the feathery doings. Will there be Central Coast wine for sipping and hor d'oeuvres? For sure. Live music? Yes. Condor-centered chitchat and cooing? Expect it. Tickets are $75 each.
AND IF YOU DO WANT TO TOUR IT... you best sign up way in advance for one of the Ventana Wildlife Society adventures. They happen every month and do fill up, but lookie here: As of this typing, there are openings for the November and December 2014 tours.