P52 26/52 Milky Way Rising and Falling Star

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

P52 26 of 52 Milky Way  Rising and Falling Star Stanislaus NatioSome friends and I went camping in North Eastern CA over the week-end to take advantage of the Moonless nights, and get away from light pollution which is ideal for night sky imaging. I got lucky and saw quite a few falling stars throughout the week-end.
The sky was so dark that ISO 3200 wasn’t enough to bring out more of the Milky Way’s light. I made adjustments the following evening. In this image the Milky Way is just rising above the mountains and was still too light out to get the rich detail of the gas, dust, and dark vein of the Great Rift, but I want to share the falling star that was streaking along the MW that I captured. Though faint I thought it was neat.

Nikon D700| AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm @17mm | 20 seconds| ISO 3200| Manual Priority| Tripod

Travelerette enjoying the view of the Stanislaus River. This was right behind our campsite.

Travelerette on the  Stanislaus RiverOur campsite was in a Walk-in campground.  There were 10 campsites, with one Vault toilet, no potable water, and tent camping only. Fortunately, we were able to get a spot with shade and on the river. No reservations; this campground is “first come-first serve.

Campsite No 4My tent is on the left under a big pine tree. It’s a Big Agnes 2. I have plenty of room for me and my stuff.  The tent set up is color coded so, it’s a breeze to set up.

I took my old Red Rider wagon which made hauling our gear to and from the campsite a piece of cake. The hike in was about an 1/8 of mile…maybe a wee bit less. The days were hot, but not unbearable, sitting in the shade I got chilly, the nights, and mornings were chilly, but by 8AM both mornings I was shedding layers. We met some lovely people all were also from the Bay Area.

more to come…



Project 52 24/52 Dahlia

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

P52 24 of 52 DahliaNikon D700| AF-S 50mm f1.8G w/Kenko 20mm & 36mm Extension Tubes| Hand-held

P52 23/52 Summer is…

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.


P52 23 of 52 Rustic Tarte a la Tomate

It’s not quite Summer here yet, but my local market had some good looking Heirloom tomatoes in so I bought several for salad, and a Tarte à la Tomate.
The Tarte was so warm and gooey that the cheese and tomatoes are sliding off the crust in this image. It may not look pretty, but it was tasty!

The recipe is from Kristin Ingham Espinasse an American ex-pat living in France with her wine maker husband and their two children. She writes the blog French Word a Day which is where I found her.
I can’t find the blog post that Kristin shared the recipe for the Tarte à la Tomate…it was years ago. I hope she doesn’t mind if I share it.

Tarte à la Tomate

1 store bought pie crust to fit your  desired pie pan
2 or 3 Tablespoons of Dijon mustard
1 cup of shredded Emmental cheese (or Gruyère)
2 or 3 Large tomatoes, sliced
Olive Oil- enough to drizzle
Herbes de Provence- to taste
salt and pepper

Roll out the store-bought pie crust ( if rollable). Slather mustard* across its surface. Sprinkle cheese over the mustard and set the tomatoes across the top. Add salt, pepper, herbes de Provence, and a filet or swirl of olive oil to taste.
Cook the tomato pie in 425º oven for 20 minutes. Serves 4, salivates eight.

* variation: try tapenade (crushed olive spread) in place of the mustard.

Nikon D700| AF-D Nikkor 105mm f2.8 micro lens| SB910 camera left, and SB600 camera right triggered via Commander Mode in camera


P52 22/52 Mac & Cheese

Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

P52  22 of 52 Mac & CheeseI made Lidia Matticchio Bastianich’s version of Mac & Cheese last night for dinner. It’s made with  three types of cheese; Cheddar, Fontina, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Altogether there are a whopping 7 cups of cheese in this version. It’s topped with home-made bread crumbs lightly toasted in sweet butter. It’s delicious! My family loved it.  Miam-Miam!

The recipe is in Lidia’s Italy in America cookbook. Or go here!

Nikon D700| AF-D Nikkor 85mm f/1.4| Hand-held

Strobist- SB910 camera left high at 1/16th pwr, triggered via Commander Mode in Camera

P52 20/52Ursa Major “Big Dipper” over Yosemite National Park

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

P52 20 of 52 Ursa Major"Big Dipper" over Yosemite National ParkNikon Df| AF-D Nikkor 24mm f/2.8| Tripod

Yosemite National Park, Half Dome, Basket Dome, Yosemite Valley, California, USA

P52 18/52 Lazuli Bunting-1st yr male

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

P52 18 of 52 Lazuli Bunting-1st yr MaleThis is my 1st sighting of this bird! He’s a beauty. He was sitting on a snag singing his heart out until a House Wren flew over and chased him off the snag. Then the Wren started singing.

It was a delightful morning. The lizards came out to be serenaded by the Wren and this Lazuli Bunting.

Happy May Day everyone!

Nikon D300s| AF-S Nikkor 300mm @f4| 1/2500s| ISO 400| Manual Priority| Matrix Metering| Tripod

Santa Clara County, CA, USA