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Places only found in California

Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Wordless Wednesday 32/52 Amador County

Nikon Df| Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2017

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Copyright © 2013 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

It was Independence Day in the United States yesterday a National Holiday for most. All over the country people were barbecuing, spending time with family and friends, or just enjoying a day off.  After dinner the family and I found some high-ground to view, and photograph the fireworks.20130704_4482I set up my tripod and waited for the first firework closest to me to be sent up then triggered my shutter release. I focused there then set my camera/lens to manual focus.

I set up the settings this way  f/10, ISO 200, and  5 second exposure, but found that too short so lengthened it to 10 seconds and the next burst took a photo. That seemed about right, at least I wasn’t blowing out the burst beyond recovery, so I went with those settings.  From my vantage point I was able to see as far south as Morgan Hill and North to Fremont and perhaps a bit further.

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20130704_4470If you want to photograph fireworks use a tripod, and a remote cable release. Use the first couple of burst as test shots to get your settings set up. I wait for the boom then depress my shutter, some people use the trails of the ascending firework as their cue.  You just need an exposure long enough to capture the explosion. Give it a go.  It’s a lot of fun, but I keep in my soul the knowledge that the freedom I have today to celebrate, worship, and work without the fear of persecution or tyranny wasn’t given it was earned.

I’ll end this post with the words of Lee Greenwood who says it better than I.

And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.”
~Lee Greenwood

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Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

He-Man and I spent a long week-end visiting my son Big Baby Boy and his fiancé the Dark Haired Beauty down in Southern California.  They moved to a new apartment just before Christmas and one town over to San Clemente and we were looking forward to seeing the area, and their apartment.

The area is gorgeous, and their apartment and complex are really nice. They’re happy and we won’t worry about them anymore than normal which is a blessing!

On Saturday afternoon the Dark Haired Beauty and I spent an hour getting our nails done after we had a full, rich breakfast with the guys, and a walk around Dana Point Harbor.

We had a super rich dinner at Morton’s Steakhouse, and hoped to hike on Sunday morning but, we woke up to a rainy day.  There was a break in the rain late Sunday afternoon so we high-tailed it to the Cristianitos Trail which is right in their neighborhood.  From the trail-head to San Clemente Summit is only 1.4 miles. I stopped to take some photos on the way up.

Spring is in bloom there! I was so surprised to see Lupine this early in full bloom along the trail.

Lupine

There were huge bushes of Pride of Madeira with new buds.  I’d love to go back when they’re in full flower in a few weeks, but know that’s highly unlikely.

pride-of-madeira

The southeasternish view.  There are sandbags all over the trail to help keep it from eroding from rain runoff. The clouds were pretty great.

cristianitos-trail_dmz9261

I stopped to catch the sun just before it dipped below the mountains.

the-view-west-from-cristianitos-trail

From here we made the final push up the hill to the summit.  The clouds blocked the sun so there was no color. The image is boring so I won’t share it. We hiked down in near darkness. Fortunately, I brought along my headlamp.

May I present Battle Cat. Big Baby Boy’s and Dark Haired Beauty’s Maine Coon.

Battle Cat

He’s a little over a year old, and still has a few more years  before he’s full grown. I didn’t realize this breed can get so BIG!

It took him a full day to approach me.  I pretty much ignored him hoping that might bring him around. Once he figured I was okay he followed me everywhere, and slept with me for a few hours Sunday night. 🙂  He’s so soft, and cute. I wonder how big he’ll be the next time I see him?

 

I’m terribly behind reading blogs again. I’ll be catching up! Rain is forecast for Sunday. I’m sure to make headway then. 🙂

Nikon Df| Nikkor 28-105mm| Delkin Digital Film| PS CC 2017

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Copyright © 2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED

While in Central Valley CA. a couple of weeks ago birding I also made a point of stopping to photograph these silos in the late afternoon light.

Rice Silos Central California

I’m  enamored with silos and the reflection was particularly nice at this time of day.

It was the tail end of the Rice harvest while I was there, and there were harvesters in the fields, and many semi-trucks driving to the Silos to deliver their loads.

In the shadow  under the Silos there’s a semi, and its driver who spied me and my girl-friend making images of the silos…he scooted behind his rig. There really was no need though. I could barely see him with my eyes! 🙂

I hope you all have a lovely week-end!

Nikon Df| Nikkor 17-35mm| Delkin Digital Film

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Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I spent the week-end with old friends Theresa, Dali, and Alex birding up in Clear Lake. We went to see Grebes, we hoped dancing on the water.

We booked a boat with the same tour group we used last year Eyes of the Wild with Faith as our Captain. You can read that post here.

We booked early and Faith kept us abreast of the Grebe situation on the lake on and off up until our booking day. Last week she sent me a text message saying that courting had really slowed down, but she had a surprise. Babies were early and she’d found several pair of Grebes with babies! Did we still want to come up?

Did we still want to come up? OF COURSE WE DID!  We’d go to see the chicks alone! We had hoped to get up there again last summer to see Grebe chicks, but there was a huge fire, the drought, add to that predators, well, it all added up to a low number of Grebes and not too many babies so, we didn’t go back up last year. We went this time!

Here’s my favorite image today of the babies and their parents.

Grebe Family

Dad had brought the fish, made a perfect transfer of it to Mom, and the chicks were out and exposed from their Mom’s wings peeping their heads off to get that fish!  The morning light was lovely, and I managed to keep the shot in focus and made before the boat moved up or down with a swell!

This was such an exciting, wonderful,  beautiful sight to see!

We also saw a few dances. We saw Osprey pairs with chicks, and a really pretty sunset among the most notable things we saw this past week-end.

I came home with 1700 images to cull. I’ve made my first pass and deleted about 400 already.  I’ll try to break up the posts so I don’t bore you to death with images of Grebes all the time. 🙂

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| SunDisk Digital Film|

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Copyright © 2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I went for a short hike Sunday evening with friends, and found it super cold and windy up in the mountains above the valley floor.  There were so many beautiful wildflowers up there, but it was so windy I only made a few images of flowers. Macro photography and wind just don’t play nice with each other.

Nothing to do then, but find a composition and wait for Golden Hour, and hope that the clouds that rolled in don’t block up the sun and we get some color.

My fingers got so cold I couldn’t feel the heat from my hand warmers, and I was having trouble feeling my shutter button. After Golden Hour myself and a friend called it and started back down the hill to the car.  About halfway down the colors in the sky popped. I had to stop to photograph it.

Landscape Photography

I hiked down pretty fast after the sun sunk behind the mountains, and once in my car I cranked the heater as high as it would go, and waited for another friend who drove up with me. She and several others braved the cold and wind further up the trail.

I’m glad I didn’t hike back to the car earlier. I would have missed this!

Nikon Df| Nikkor 17-35mm| Delking Digital Film| Tripod| PS CC 2015 & On1 Photo 10| Single exposure

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Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I’m dipping into my archives for my post to Thursday Doors this week because I didn’t get any images of pretty or interesting doors this past week.

Sveadal located in Morgan Hill, Ca is a little Swedish village that one must pass through to get to a popular Santa Clara County Park called Uvas Canyon.  I pass through this village when I go looking for waterfalls in Winter.

In 1926, the Swedish American Patriotic League purchased 110 acres of beautiful mountain property for a potential retirement home that soon evolved into a summer resort. It has a beautiful Clubhouse, recreational facilities including a swimming pool, tennis courts, playground, ball field, picnic and camp grounds, two creeks and two outdoor dance floors. There are 49 private cabins and 10 rental units. ” ~Sveadal.org

 This past January while on my out of the area after photographing waterfalls, and little cascades here, I stopped to make some images of the doors in the village.

Nº D10– I really like the shape of the rails, and color scheme of this cabin right down to the delicate white curtains.  The listing awning over the French Doors with its shingles covered in moss is also quite charming I think. 🙂

Swedish Architecture-Photography

…Nº D10 

Swedish Architecture-Photography

Shed Door– the rust and mold caught my eye. It gives the door more character I think.

Sveadal Shed

Nº D6-The scalloped trim on the portico, the panel door,  the 9 paned windows with their shear white curtains, and the smoke stack…this is where I’d like to be tucked with my camera, a good book, plenty of tea, wine, food that isn’t fussy or too complicated to prepare, and He-Man, and Diva Dog for the week-end.

Swedish Architecture-Photography

I also love the patina on the fence in front of Nº 6. I wonder what metal it is made of? Iron?

Metal Fence Patina

Apparently Fairies, or Hobbits live here. Unfortunately, not one Fairy or Hobbit answered the door.   I love this and want one in my yard.  I wonder what the story is behind it? Is this a tradition I wonder?

Carved house from tree stump

For the History buffs I will let Ted Olsson’s speech  given on the 100th Anniversary of the Swedish American Patriotic League speak to that here.

There’s a bit more to see here, and I’m sure more than a few hidden gems. I hope to find those in future trips back to the area.

This post is part of Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors.  If you love doors and would like to see the doors others are posting, or post doors you’ve photographed and join other door lovers from around the world click here.

At the end of Norm’s latest Thursday Door post is a little Blue Link-up/View button click it to be taken to a page with all the links, or add your own.

Nikon Df| Nikkor 28-105mm| Delkin Digital Film| PS CC 2015

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