• What: ‘Art in the Library.’

• When: Through August.

• Where: Tuolumne County Library, 480 Greenley Rd., Sonora.

• Admission: Free.

Information: (209) 533-5507.

“Art in the Library,” a rotating exhibit at the Tuolumne County Library in Sonora, features the first public exhibit of photographs by Teri Kessler.

The display, which will be up through August, showcases Kessler’s photos of local birds and flowers as well as coastal landscapes.

“I love photography, and especially nature photography,” she said. “It gives me the ability to capture a subject or scene that I can study and enjoy forever.”

Country living is in Kessler’s DNA.

“I grew up in Southern California and my grandparents lived on a working cattle ranch in Jamul near San Diego,” she said. “I would spend summers on the ranch helping my grandfather feed the cows and my grandmother would cook for the ranch hands. My family lived on a dairy farm in Julian at that time. I loved the little calves and would help my dad fill the bottles for them and also helped feed them.”

Kessler’s adult life was spent in the Bay Area. She and her husband retired and moved to Tuolumne to start the next chapter of their lives — returning to her childhood love of a rural lifestyle.

“I was ready to get back to doing what I love — taking photos, gardening, hiking, and just enjoying nature,” she said. “I purchased a Nikon DSLR camera and started taking online classes. Then I took a couple of classes at Columbia College. I’ve met a lot of fellow photographers here that enjoy sharing places to photograph.”

Kessler said she’s inspired by her mother.

“At 81 years old she still hikes, works full time and competes in photo competitions every week at the Rossmoor Photography Club,” she said. “We encourage each other and take photo trips together. Our favorite places are Pacific Grove and Mendocino. We can be in the same place for hours and at the end of the day when we look at our photos we don’t have one photo that is alike.”

A photo of Kessler’s mother hiking at Point Lobos in Carmel is part of the library exhibit.

Kessler’s love of birds is also evident in the library show. Numerous bird photos, including Bullock’s oriole, acorn woodpecker, northern flicker, western tanager, and hummingbirds are showcased.

“I can sit on my patio for hours watching birds and I’ve cataloged the ones I’ve seen here,” she said. “I’ve never seen so many different species. I can watch birds all day waiting for a good shot as they don’t stay still for long.”

A favorite photo of hers on display features three orioles together at a feeder with the females squawking at the male.

“A cute photo,” she said. “I was pretty lucky to get the three of them at once.”

Kessler’s flower photos in the exhibit include tulips and dahlias. Wildflower photos include canyon live-forever, blue dicks, alpine shooting star, Fort Miller clarkia, and the California poppy.

“I always see something while driving from our property to and from town,” she said. “Once I saw a bobcat run across the road in front of me and I happened to have my camera. I grabbed it and chased him down the hill. I said, ‘Hey!’ He stopped and looked at me and I took his photo, which is in the exhibit. I love those days when I can capture a moment and have that memory forever.”

Kessler said that she’s entered only one photo contest.

“While walking on the beach in Belize I saw three little kids playing in a yard,” she said. “I asked the oldest girl if I could take her picture and she gave me the cutest pose. That photo was taken with a little pocket camera that I carried with me before I bought my Nikon, and was entered in the Alameda County Fair. My photos are mostly for my own enjoyment and to share with friends.”

The photo taken in Belize, “Red Dress,” is on display at the library.

Another activity that Kessler has enjoyed since moving to the area is raising chickens.

“The chickens are so entertaining and provide us with nice fresh organic eggs,” she said.

“I enjoy the foothills — this area is all new to me and I love it,” she added. “I like getting up early in the morning and heading out to catch the first light coming up, and as I pass the jack rabbits and coyote crossing the road ending their day, I’m beginning mine!”

The public is invited to visit the Tuolumne County Library at 480 Greenley Rd. in Sonora to view the art on display each month. Call (209) 533-5507 for more information.

14485061