Below you will find California State Parks’ top five photos for our “Winter is Coming” photo contest that was held from December 22, 2019 through March 10, 2020 for the department staff and volunteers. Although the announcement is a bit behind, State Parks wanted to share the amazing photos the staff took pre-COVID-19. We would like to thank everyone who participated in this contest. This past winter was a cold one and as you will see from the photos, our staff captured the beauty of winter. And fittingly enough, one of the photos captured a snow-shaped bear. Check out the top five below!
Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park
Photo title: “Wind Chill 6 Degrees”
What inspired you to take this photo: “Five-foot waves and severe wind gust are exciting at Lake Tahoe, and this wave seemed to capture that, though the frigid temps did not invite staying out longer than 10 minutes.”
Photo taken: Feb. 2, 2020, an iPhone.
Photo by: Brooke Fellers, Sierra District. Brooke is a state park peace officer (ranger) in the Lake Tahoe Sector and has been with the department for 10 years.
Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park
Photo title: “Frozen Prickly Bear”
What inspired you to take this photo: “While not entirely uncommon, a good snowfall in the desert is a rare occurrence. After a heavy snowstorm Christmas week, I wanted to capture the juxtaposition of the harsh desert features cloaked in pristine snow. I took a series of photos trying to capture lens flare through the snow melt on this golden cholla cactus. I didn’t even notice the bear shapes in the snow cap until my wife pointed it out while I was reviewing what I’d taken later that evening.”
Photo taken: Dec. 27, 2019, with a Nikon D50, 300mm lens.
Photo by: Matthew Williams, Great Basin District. Matt is a state park peace officer supervisor and has been with the department for 12 years. Also, this is his fourth photo selected in our photo contests since we began three years ago.
Henry W. Coe State Park
Photo title: “A White Winter at Coe”
What inspired you to take the photo: “This photo was captured by one of the game cameras installed by the Felidae Conservation Fund for a mountain lion study in the park.”
Photo taken: Jan. 16, 2020, captured with the Bushnell game camera.
Photo by: Susan Ferry, Diablo Range District. Susan is an environmental scientist and has been with the department for 30 years.
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Photo title: “Pogonip on the Prairie”
What inspired you to take this photo: “This particular morning the sky was clear. The morning fog was frozen, thick “pogonip”—it was an exhilarating way to start the morning.”
Photo taken: Jan. 14, 2020, with a Samsung Galaxy 7.
Photo by: Dee Dee Cathey, North Coast Redwoods District. Dee Dee is a park maintenance supervisor and has been with the department for 24 years
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park
Photo title: “Frosty Awakening”
What inspired you to take the photo: “It’s often the detail that makes the photo, so I like to get close to a subject to cut out the extraneous noise. I liked the way the frost on this mullein accentuated the hairs and veins on the leaves, almost making it look like it was coated in crystalline sugar.”
Photo taken: Jan. 10, 2020, with a Samsung Galaxy J3.
Photo by: Jerrie Beard, Gold Fields District. Jerrie has worked as an office technician/volunteer coordinator for the past four years and was previously a volunteer for four years.