Wordless Weds. The Morning After

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Nikon D810| Nikkor 24-120mm @75mm| PS CC 22.2.0

more to come…

Friday’s Feathered Friends-Northern Harrier

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Several weeks ago He-Man was up for exploring so I took him to some of my birding spots that he hasn’t been to yet. While driving into one area I spotted a Northern Harrier on the ground in an irrigation ditch and as soon as we parked I took off to try to get a photo of it. It remained still and let me take a series of images of it. I wondered if it had a meal in that pile of weeds/grass?

Sitting Northern Harrier Male;

Afterwards I caught up with He-Man and while we were picking our way through a field avoiding the muddiest spots he spotted another one sitting in the field. WOOT!

Later on I spied her flying and on the lookout for a meal.

Look at this wing span! She’s ready to pounce! She came up empty and flew out of my range and view onto a new hunting ground no doubt across the pond.

Cool facts:

Male Northern Harriers can have up to 5 mates at once though most only have two. The males provides the food, and the females take care of incubating the eggs and brood the chicks.

Northern Harriers are the most owl like of the hawks, but they are not related to owls. They rely on their hearing and vision to find prey. They have a disk shaped face the looks and functions like an owls with stiff facial feathers that direct sound to their ears.

Juvenile males have pale greenish-yellow eyes, while juvenile females have dark chocolate brown eyes. The eye color of both sexes changes gradually to lemon yellow by adulthood. I didn’t know that!

They eat small mammals and small birds but have been known to take down ducks and rabbits.

The oldest known Northern Harrier on record was a Female at least 15 years, 4 months old when she was captured and released in 2001 by a bird bander in Quebec. She had been banded in New Jersey in 1986.

Cool facts gleaned from allaboutbirds.org

The Harriers were the most exciting sighting at this location soon we were on our way to find a meal ourselves then call it day and head home.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, keep safe and warm!

Fuji X-T3| Fuji 100-400mm| PS CC 22.2

more to come…

Friday’s Feathered Friends- Red, White, and Blue

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I told you I would show you the beautiful Vermilion Flycatcher that I went to see in Maxwell, CA a few week ago, and today is the day! He’s a year round resident of Mexico and South America. He does come north to So. Texas and So. California for breeding season, and has been seen in the states along the gulf coast states. How this one found his way up here in Central Calif. is a mystery, but it’s been returning for 5 winters now. He’s rare there.

Isn’t he pretty?

Fuji X-T3 w/ Fuji 100-400mm lens @400mm

Almost two weeks ago He-Man went up to Washoe Co. the next county over to go on a bike ride and I went with him not to ride, but to bird while he rode and guess who I saw? The White-headed Woodpecker! This is a male. I only saw this species for the first time last year so I still do a happy dance when I see one.

This one was so busy foraging he didn’t care about me too much. Once in awhile he did check me out.

Fuji X-T3| Fuji 100-400mm @400mm

Sunday two neighbors and I went for our walk and we decided to go further than the mailbox and go up the hill and come home the back way where we saw Mountain Bluebirds foraging in the Russian Olive trees. The Olives are like little nuts that they seem to really like.

I saw this species for the first time last Spring, but didn’t have my camera with me but, by the time I raced home on foot to get the camera and return to the spot I saw one it was gone. I am so glad I had a camera with me on Sunday! Mountain Bluebird Male

Panasonic Lumix FZ200 @600mm

It’s been a good birdy couple of weeks that has been waylaid by weather. We’ve had snow! I won’t be out birding for a few days.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend, stay healthy, and safe.

more to come…

Thurs. Doors-The Brown Building

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Last week while birding we made a stop in Maxwell, CA. to try to find a rare bird that has been making his home in Maxwell for nearly 5 winters now. I shared that beautiful bird the Vermillion Flycatcher in this post back in 2016.

We found him again and I will be sharing his picture in a future post, but since this is a post about doors let’s get to the door. On the way out of town I stopped to make an image of this door and building. I loved the turquoise door, and the Mission yet maybe art deco style of the building.

The Header on top of the building says, GB-Brown 1910. Maxwell, CA.

I got a bonus door in the back right with that garage door too. 😀

I began searching for any information about the building online, but I came up empty so I reached out to the Colusa County Chamber of Commerce to see if they knew anything about the building GB-Brown or Brown the person. They kindly forwarded my email to John Morton a Colusa County Historical Researcher. He got back to me really quick and asked for a photo of the building which I sent him. It wasn’t long before he replied with this information about the building,

The building was built in 1910 and used very little as a horse stable before being converted to a car garage owned by George Blench Brown,  B – August 6, 1869  Missouri & D – August 18, 1941 in Colusa County, Ca. He is buried in the Maxwell Cemetery. The Maxwell Fire Department named their station for Marion James Brown, late Fire Chief for the station for many years. He is also the son of George B. Brown. 
I don’t know the current owner of the building, you will have to go to the Assessor’s Office, give them the address and they will help you. Your right, it’s not a Historical Building. There are three plaques on three different buildings in Maxwell. Maxwell is a town, no city council, no police dept, patrolled by the county sheriff. In fact, the founder of the town, George Maxwell is buried in the Colusa Community Cemetery, so when he passed away, there was no cemetery in Maxwell.
That’s all the information I have on the building.
“~ John Morton

I have shared other doors in Maxwell, here , this cute cottage door, this nice blue door. I thought there was one more…I guess it’s in my archive marinating still. But, in addition to the great information about the building, John gave me three historical landmarks to seek out for more doors in Maxwell! Thank you so much, John Morton!

Thursday Doors is the creation of Norm 2.0. However, it is now hosted at Dan Antion’s blog No Facilities. Click here to get to his blog to see many other doors from all over the world that other door lovers have shared this week.

iPhone 7Plus| PS CC 22.1.0

more to come…

Friday’s Feathered Friends-Great Horned Owl

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Saturday I met some friends at a National Wildlife Refuge for some birding. One of those friends was Gordon. Some of you know him from his blog

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/84102527/posts/3117603841

We adhered to the the Corona Virus Covid-19 guidelines by each driving their own car, and when out of the car we wore our masks and stood well apart. I can’t tell you how great it was to see friends I’d not seen in quite awhile. We had great birdy day with great weather for it too.

Upon my arrival while walking to the duck pond I crossed paths with another birder whom I didn’t know, but I ask him if he’d been seeing good birds and he replied while pointing that there was a Great Horned Owl just down there, and told me where to look. When I got to the pond I shared this info with my friends and we all headed up the trail to find the tree. While the Owl wasn’t in the tree he or she wasn’t too far away and we got some great looks, and images of it.

It’s not “in” the tree where it has its nest, but what a great look we got here. Wide awake!

Here it is in its nest. Just a split in the tree.

Copyright © 2021 Deborah M. Zajac ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Fun facts about the Great Horned Owl- From All About Birds.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Great_Horned_Owl/

  • Great Horned Owls are fierce predators that can take large prey, including raptors such as Ospreys, Peregrine Falcons, Prairie Falcons, and other owls. They also eat much smaller items such as rodents, frogs, and scorpions.
  • When clenched, a Great Horned Owl’s strong talons require a force of 28 pounds to open. The owls use this deadly grip to sever the spine of large prey.
  • If you hear an agitated group of cawing American Crows, they may be mobbing a Great Horned Owl. Crows may gather from near and far and harass the owl for hours. The crows have good reason, because the Great Horned Owl is their most dangerous predator.
  • Even though the female Great Horned Owl is larger than her mate, the male has a larger voice box and a deeper voice. Pairs often call together, with audible differences in pitch.
  • Great Horned Owls are covered in extremely soft feathers that insulate them against the cold winter weather and help them fly very quietly in pursuit of prey. Their short, wide wings allow them to maneuver among the trees of the forest.
  • Great Horned Owls have large eyes, pupils that open widely in the dark, and retinas containing many rod cells for excellent night vision. Their eyes don’t move in their sockets, but they can swivel their heads more than 180 degrees to look in any direction. They also have sensitive hearing, thanks in part to facial disc feathers that direct sound waves to their ears.
  • The oldest Great Horned Owl on record was at least 28 years old when it was found in Ohio in 2005.

Late in the afternoon we returned to this refuge and went to look for the Owl again. It wasn’t in the nest, but perched on top of branch.

Great Horned Owl on a tree top

The Great Horned Owl is one of the most common owls in North America. It lives in deserts, wetlands, forests, grasslands, backyards, cities, and just about any other semi-open habitat between the Artic and the tropics. We were really excited and happy to see this one.

OT- My 11th Blogaverisary on WP was Wednesday I’d like to thank everyone who has followed me, left comments, for the conversations, lessons learned, and the friendships I’ve made with quite a few of you over the years. Thank you!🥰

Fuji X-T3| Fuji 100-400mm XF WR OIS lens| PS CC 22.1.0

more to come…

Whatever Weds.

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Hello 2021!

He-Man and I spent the last afternoon of 2020 snowshoeing at a lake nearby to stretch our legs.

There were a few other people enjoying the sunny day. Some decided to ice fish on lake. They were just drilling out their hole here when we went by.

iPhone 7 Plus

The scenery was just lovely. The sky was so blue with nice clouds, and there was not much of a breeze so we warmed up quickly while snowshoeing.

Peeking through the trees. Lake view. iPhone 7 Plus
Young Pine Trees covered in Snow. iPhone 7 Plus

It felt great to get out and stretch our legs. We had a very quiet evening in for New Year’s Eve. I didn’t make it to midnight, and I slept soundly as there were no fireworks, cannon or guns being fired in our neighborhood. We didn’t know what to expect since we’d spent our first New Year’s Eve in our new house not in our house at all, but in London. So, we’ve discovered it was quite different from our old neighborhood where there would have been fireworks, cannon, and shouting, and whooping it up. Did you make it to midnight? Were there noisemakers and celebrations in your neighborhood?

The 1st found me being lazy. I made our traditional good luck dinner, but I did try to recreate the Good Luck meal we had on New Year’s Day in London at Herman ze German’s by adding Brats and German beer to our menu. I hope I ate enough to have good luck all through the year.

The day closed with some lovely color after the sun went down. It was a lovely day and I hope it sets the tone for the upcoming year.

Nikon D810| Nikkor 24-120mm| PS CC 22.1.0- Sunset Colors Carson Valley

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope we all remain, safe, healthy, and have some fun this year!

more to come…

Thurs. Doors- Hampton Court Palace

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

It seems like an age ago that I shared an image for Thursday Doors or from our trip to London which was just this past January!

I’ve let some of these images marinate long enough. ☺ Here’s one.

One day we Ubered out to Hampton Court Palace the favorite palace of King Henry VIII. It’s 12 miles southwest and upstream from central London on the Thames River.

The drive there was lovely passing small towns and beautiful countryside.

This is an entrance to one side of the palace through the left door and the courtyard entrance in the center. I think the door on the right was a cloak closet, but it’s been awhile since being there that I’ve forgotten! I should have made more notes. It’s a palace I’d like to tour again one day.

Thursday Doors is the creation of Norm 2.0 Head on over to his blog to see many other doors from all over the world that other door lovers have shared.

Nikon Df| Nikkor 24-120mm| PS CC 22.0.0

more to come…