Whatever Weds.- O’Dark Thirty

Copyright © 2020 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Did you hear about the new Comet that was discovered in March of this year? It’s called C/2020 F3 “Neowise”.  Some…okay a lot of astronomers thought it would be burned up when it made its close encounter to the Sun, but a few thought it would make it past that, and we who were paying attention held our breath and waited and watched…

It made it past the sun! Two Comets I was watching this year didn’t make it past their close encounter with the Sun so this is huge!

On July 10th I rose at an UnGodly hour 4:00 A.M. brushed my teeth put on some pants and shoes and grabbed my gear then headed out not too far from home on foot to see if I could see this new Comet C/2020 F3 “Neowise”.  I did not see it.  I knew where to look so made 13 images around the area hoping my camera could see what I could not.  IT DID NOT.  I was too late. The Sun’s light was already hiding the Comet. I needed to get up earlier.

July 11th. I rose at 3:15am put some pants on, brushed my teeth, put on my shoes, and grabbed my gear bag and headed out the door on foot to my spot.  My compass for the morning was Venus with Alderan under it and Capella off to the north of Venus. They would guide me to Comet C/2020 F3 ” Neowise”.  I also took my binoculars just in case I couldn’t spot with my eyes.  I located Capella with my binocs and began scanning the area below it where I knew the comet would be.  THERE IT WAS! I did a little happy dance I won’t lie!  There’s just something about the stars, planets, and comets that excites me.

I set up my camera and dialed in my exposer and hoped I was in focus. Focusing in the dark isn’t always easy.

Here’s my best frame from the morning.

Comet Neowise C/2020 F3 7.11.2020

As I was shooting there was a pack of Coyotes singing their song just up the trail and behind me just far enough away to keep me looking to my right. Greeting the morning or healding their catch of the night I don’t know, but they stirred up all the coyotes in the valley and kept me watching my right.

When I walked up the path toward the fence I needed to hop to get home I kept looking over my shoulder making sure the Coyotes weren’t following me!  They’re sneaky those coyotes. In my head, I had this song. It’s my favorite Coyote song evah. And they go…

Who yip , who yip, who…


Nikon D810| Nikkor 180mm F/2.8| CS PP 21.2


more to come…





37 thoughts on “Whatever Weds.- O’Dark Thirty

  1. A beautiful shot, Deborah. I had to share your photo on IG with my husband. He’s been trying unsuccessfully to see it for over a week. Each night the sky has been locked in with clouds. I’m afraid he may be running out of time before it’s gone.

    I would have been a little unnerved by the coyotes howling. My niece once told me story about slowly being stalked by coyotes while out for a walk with her dog. She ended up picking up her small(ish) dog and did made it home safely, but it really rattled her. They are definitely clever little hunters.

  2. Great capture Deborah! It has been fun to see all the different versions of the comet on social media. I’ve been feeling kind of lazy about getting up early and did not attempt it. Good for you!

  3. Amazing shot that took a lot of effort. Your photography skills and passion are certainly on display here. Thank you for sharing especially with those of us who still haven’t gotten their camera off automatic. 🙂

  4. A Great capture of the comet Deborah ! The early bird did catch the worm in this case, well done, and how interesting to have Coyotes howling nearby, just like our Dingoes hear in Aus.

  5. I used to get creeped out by the coyote calls when we lived in San Antonio area so I call you the bravest of the brave. I’m glad you got the shot for all of us.

  6. How exciting, Deborah! I love the photo. It sounds kind of dangerous… I was already worried about you when you said you went anywhere on foot at that hour. I can’t blame you though. Wow. Hugs on the wing.

    1. Oh, thank you, Teagan! I was safe. I was on county road at the back of our community. Only us the golf club, and the rancher behind us use it. I had to hop the fence cause our HOA doesn’t want to put in a person gate.

  7. Nice catch; I’m still looking for an opportunity to shoot the comet but the last few days has been very windy and overcast on the coast.

    Last evening, I did my walk toward my new LWR (local wildlife refuge) at the neighborhood high school and Wile E coyote decided to make an appearance, within 30 to 40 yards from me. I didn’t have my camera so I shot some cellphone shots. Not sure if you can see this fb link but I posted a photo last night; I spoke to a guy walking his dog and was informed that there many coyotes around the golf courses and now the high school where the gophers are proliferating.

  8. Nice shot! You must be very proud of yourself, getting up at that hour and trekking out to your spot. And the song~haunting, isn’t it? I’ve never heard it before.

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