Heading outside to take some wildlife photos? You may find yourself on the other end of the lens. An otter was recently spotted at Elkhorn Slough aiming a video camera at humans. No, we're not kidding. There's a close-up here. If you're otter-camera-shy, there's plenty of other events this weekend.
An exhibit opening...at the airport? It's true! And there's no Homeland Security pat-down or eating of airline food required. Check out historic artifacts found in buildings throughout Monterey, images and memorabilia of the pioneer women who settled the area, and drawings of the Old West at the Monterey Peninsula Airport. Free, 5-7pm.
Pacific Grove's Wine, Art & Music Walk takes place tonight. Venues on Lighthouse, Forest and Grand will be open from 6-9pm, serving up (as you may have guessed from the name) wine, art and music. It's all free!
Pick up a map of participating establishments at the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce. Check out the anti-Jonas Brothers, tween rockers August Sky, at Wave Street Studios at 7pm. $5.
Where do forlorn leftover cookies go after the Chocolate Cookie Baking Contest? They go to the Monterey Public Library, to be devoured as part of a benefit fundraiser. Eat chocolate and drink wine for a good cause at the Monterey Public Library. For $30 at the door, taste your fill of wine from local vineyards and the best chocolate-themed desserts from throughout the local area, as well as the aforementioned cookies.
Down in Big Sur, Fernwood Resort hosts Portland-area post-rock instrumentalists Grails tonight. Twelve-string guitarist James Blackshaw and Grails guitarist Zak Riles open. 9pm, $15.
Strap on your hiking boots and head over to the Garland Visitor Center for a five-hour, nearly 8-mile hike up to the Mesa and back. With an 880 foot elevation gain, you're guaranteed some good views. The hike is free, but let them know you're coming; preregister here under "Free Guided Hikes." Help out Mother Nature by pulling weeds at the Eolian Dunes Preserve in Sand City from 9:30 am to noon.
Meet at the parking lot by Borders; preregister here. From 10am-1pm, restore habitat in a section of the Fort Ord Dunes previously only seen by heavily armed men in military fatigues. Return of the Natives and REI are sponsoring the Fort Ord Dunes Restoration Project. Dress for heavy gardening, and wear work gloves; they'll supply the equipment.
It's Shark Days over at the Monterey Bay Aquarium! Need we say more? Fernwood Resort continues their musical weekend in Big Sur with reggae/blues outfit Freesound, playing from 2 - 6 pm. No cover.
The Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association pulls out all the stops for the Monterey Wine Auction and Gala down at the Jackson Family Winery in Soledad. Try 30 different wines, spectacular food from local chefs, and listen to the sweet music of Grammy winner Louie Ortega. The money from your $185 ticket benefits local charities. 6:30 - 11 pm.
If you like your music really retro, see Voices of London at the Sunset Center in Carmel. They'll be singing the hottest hits of the 13th through 16th centuries. The interview starts at 7; the music starts at 8. $32 for adults, $20 for students, free for K-12 students accompanied by an adult. Lewis Black plays the Golden State Theatre with loud and ranty comedy at 8pm.
If you're lucky, you'll glimpse a golden eagle during the Toro Park hike held by the Sierra Club on Sunday. Meet at Home Depot in Marina at 8:45am, and wear your good boots - the hike is 8-9 miles long, with a 1000 foot elevation gain. For an easier amble with more birds, head to the Sierra Club's Salinas River hike at 9am.
It's 8 miles, but it's a flat 8 miles. Kayak through Elkhorn Slough with the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District's "Sleuthing the Slough by Kayak" event starting at 9:30 am. Register here under "Family Discoveries."
Get another bite of Shark Days over at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Watch the Oscars in the company of many well-dressed people while enjoying great food and wine and benefiting a good cause. The red carpet rolls out at 4:30 pm at the Inn at Spanish Bay for the Big Night Oscar Gala hosted by the Monterey County Film Commission.
Actress Carol Lawrence and magician Rich Ferguson will make special appearances. Contemporary jazz act the Matt Otto Quartet featuring Storm Nilson plays Wave Street Studios at 8 pm. Tickets are $10 for students, and $15 for the rest of us.
If you're seeking something more to do this weekend, check out the Monterey County Weekly's calendar of events.