Debbie Croft: There's plenty to see and do in the foothills

April 5, 2013 


In Oakhurst, 20 artists have opened a new gallery. At 40982 Highway 41, Suite 5, Gallery Yosemite features the work of artists who love living in Sierra Nevada communities.

Their artistry depicts the beauty, tranquility and majesty of Yosemite and the surrounding area:

Springtime's wildflowers dotted across a painted canvas

Photography portraying a midnight sky studded with glittering stars

The innocence of a doe and fawn resting in a quiet meadow

A view across Yosemite Valley with a ribbon of sky mirrored in the river's glassy surface.

Appliqued trees in printed cotton calicoes of greens and browns

A whimsical peacock shaped from a common gourd

These artists have captured so many facets of nature, from the simple to the sublime. Yosemite Gallery is definitely worth a visit.

Yosemite Western Artists present a Plein Air and Photography Landscape Show today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will be held at Gertrude School on Road 600 in Ahwahnee, between Mariposa and Oakhurst.

Artists of YWA include Vicki Thomas, Mark Heliger, Kay Price, Anita Stoll, Doug Boomer and Judith Durr. To view samples of their artwork visit,

A little farther from home is this weekend's annual Spring Fling at the Amador Flower Farm.

Weather permitting, free tram ride tours allow visitors to view the variety of flowers and produce grown on the premises.

In the gift shop are specialty sauces, dips, dressings and preserves. Plant and vegetable starts for your own garden may be purchased at the farm's nursery. Buy lunch or pack your own for a picnic and stay awhile. Call (209) 245-6660 for more info. (No pets allowed, please.)

Located southeast of Sacramento on Highway 49, visit the farm any day of the week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine, at 22001 Shendandoah School Road in Plymouth.

You missed the dance, but there's still time to get to the rodeo. The La Grange Rodeo is Sunday at the rodeo grounds east of La Grange on State Highway 132/Yosemite Boulevard.

Slack roping and riding events start at 8 a.m. for you early risers. This year's Rodeo Queen will be crowned at noon, and the Grand Entry begins at 1 p.m. Calf roping and team roping are on the program, along with saddle bronc, bareback and bull riding. Steer wrestling and barrel racing add excitement, and the clowns keep folks entertained. For kids 8 years and under, the goat scramble is a fun event.

Food and beverage vendors will be on-site, plus booths offering western gear.

Pre-sale tickets are only $12, available at local businesses and from queen candidates. At the gate, tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for kids age 6 to 12, and little tykes 5 and under are free. Visit for details and photos, or call Neil Casey at (209) 988-7079.

The second annual Trout Fest will be held at Moccasin Creek Hatchery at the junction of Highways 49 and 120.

On April 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., this family-friendly event has lots of activities planned, including free fishing. Aquarium and hatchery displays, plus cleaning, casting and hand-tying demonstrations are some of the adventures your kids will enjoy. They also might want to feed the fish and discover what those slippery scales feel like.

Mountains of Minerals will be at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds next weekend, April 13 and 14, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The Mineral and Gem Show includes fascinating exhibits, guest speakers, activities for children and food and beverage vendors. The exhibit and parking are free. The fairgrounds are located about one mile south of Mariposa on Highway 49. For details, call the California State Mining and Mineral Museum at (209) 742-7625 or email mineral

The weather and scenery are gorgeous, and there's so much to do in the foothills this time of year. You won't want to miss anything by staying indoors.

Debbie Croft writes about life in the foothill communities. She can be reached at

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