Wild Weds. 2/52 Wild Ones at Home

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

It rained this week! I’m not complaining we need it, so when He-Man and I went for a hike on Saturday we went late morning to let it dry out a bit, and get warmer. We kept to the paved streets in the nearby hills b/c I did not want to trod uphill and down in the mud on the trails.  We walked just over 2 miles and gained about 600ft in elevation.  It felt like a workout.

FWIW: If I’m hiking or stretching my legs with a hike I’d rather go uphill for a bigger pay off verses a longer, flat walk.  Since it was late morning there wasn’t any wildlife; the birds, deer, coyotes, and wild turkey were all napping I guess.  Not a bad place to be on a late Saturday morning though. 🙂

Sunday it rained all day. Like me all the wildlife was hunkered down somewhere cozy, warm, and dry.

So, it’s to my archives we go.

Here are a few wild ones that visit my backyard bushes and feeders taken last year.

hum… something Squirrely (sp?) is going on here…

Bird Feeder Raider

Yep! This one found the one feeder he/she can get in to!

Squirrel at Bird Feeder

Then there’s the fence sitters.

Morning Dove

California Towhee

The top bird is a Mourning Dove…which I’m thinking was born in the hanging basket on my patio, or their Mother.  The bottom bird is a California Towhee. I can’t tell if it’s the male of female.


I hope you’re all having a wonderful week and staying warm!

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…



Wild Wednesday 1/52 Here Kitty, Kitty!

Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


A Bobcat image…Finally!  I went birding with my friend Dali on the 30th of December which would be my last birding adventure for 2017.  We went to an area not too far from home that we hadn’t been to in a year.  While on the way out of the area and headed to lunch b/c the birds had gone quiet, and hunkered down well into the foliage out of sight Dali spotted this Bobcat.

I was so excited and had been looking for one or it when we went through this area coming in, because way back in the winter of 2011 Dali and I saw a Bobcat here, and it was right in my sights, but I missed the shot because my lens then was the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 which was slow and would hunt in poor light. My lens just would not find focus, and by the time I switched to manual focus all I managed to get were blurry butt shots of the retreating Bobcat.  It was then I decided I had to move up to the 300mm f/4 prime lens.  Missed shots like this due to a hunting lens was unacceptable! Needless to say, every time I’ve birded this area since I’ve looked for the, or a Bobcat sans success…that is, until the 30th of December 2017.  6 years of hoping to see a Bobcat again in this area!

This Bobcat just like that day in 2011 was under the canopy of Oak trees and well shaded but, unlike that day my kit today is the 200-500mm lens, and the formidable D810 camera which together were able to attain focus so, I was able to fire off 4 shots before the Bobcat got behind the foliage and out of sight.  However all was not perfect…all four images were metered for a brighter environment so, they were all under exposed.  I didn’t delete them. Actually, I never delete “in camera” for fear of corrupting my card. I hoped I would be able to bring up the exposure enough in Photoshop and save the images especially since the Bobcat did turn and look at me for two of those four shots!

If I haven’t told you before how much I like Photoshop let me tell you now. I LIKE PHOTOSHOP! I was able bring back nearly two stops of light, and with some noise reduction have a “keeper” instead of having to delete the images again.

Was this the very same Bobcat? Probably not, but maybe its offspring. 🙂  Either way I’m a very happy camper with this shot, and my last birding excursion of 2017. Oh yes,  we did see birds. Lots of Hawks, Sparrows, and a Says Phoebe are the most notable birds, but the highlight for me was long awaited re sighting of the Bobcat.  I sure hope that bodes well for a stellar 2018 wildlife/birding year.

Here’s a link about the North American Bobcat from the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

Oh, three more things; 1)  you may have noticed I have changed my blog theme, and hope you’re all able to view and read my posts sans problemes. My old theme was no longer supported, and I was having some issues with it for sometime.  Then I created a “sticky” post back in week 41 of 2017 and couldn’t figure out how I did it or undo that until week 51 or so when I had given up trying to fix that and tried new themes.  For now this is the theme I’m rollin’ with. Let me know in the comments if it’s working for you please.

2) while driving home from Baby Girl’s this evening I decided on my Project 52 theme for this year. Yes, I’m going to do another one.  It motivates me, and gets me out of the house with my favorite tool…my camera.  This year’s theme I’m calling Wild Wednesday.  I have plenty of wildlife images marinating in my archives in case I get stuck indoors, but I plan to get out to make many more new images, and not all things wild are animals. 🙂

3) My Header: It’s an image I made back on Jan. 1, 2011 of Stoneman Bridge in Yosemite National Park.  That was a stellar Photography Trip with Dear Friends Dali, Alex, and Theresa.  We’re way overdue for another Annual New Year’s Trip.  Just sayin. 🙂

I raise my glass and toast; Here’s to a good photographic year! 🙂

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm @f/8|ISO 1000| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…



Our resident Lizard

Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This Lizard and one more live in our backyard.  I think they’re Western Fence Lizards and this one is a female because I’m not seeing bright blue at her throat or belly, but I’m not positive.  The coloring and scales match the description, but… I’m guessing; nothing else in my book even comes close to matching our backyard lizards.

They like to bask in the sun on the warm cement bricks of our garden borders and retaining wall.

This one came right up to the end of the border next to the sliding glass door the other day. Luckily I had my camera nearby.  We’ve named her Lizzy the Lizard.

Western Fence Lizard


Daughter came home with a bug on Wednesday, and #1 Grandson came down with it yesterday.  I’ve had a dull headache and no appetite all Thursday.  I fear I’m next! That could seriously wreck my photography plans this week-end. 😦  I’m hoping it’s just the change in the barometer (it dropped) affecting me and not the bug.  It’s been really gray, overcast, and a bit chilly.  There was rain in the forecast yesterday, but it never did rain.

I hope you all have a wonderful week-end, and stay healthy!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 300mm f/4 @8| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2017

more to come…




2016 Top Ten Most”Viewed” Images on Flickr

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

As we approach the end of 2016  I’m looking back on the year’s images; seeing which were the most liked by others, which images I love, which techniques failed,  or succeeded, and falling in love all over again with the places I’ve visited, and the people I met during the last year.

I made thousands of images in 2016 whittling them down to just 10 isn’t easy when I love so many, and divorcing myself from the emotional aspects of making the images and being purely objective is hard!

While going through my images I also took a look at my 2016 Top Ten most viewed images over at my Flickr site. Since those are easier to get to I thought I’d share those images with you again this year.  Most of these you’ve seen before if you’ve been following my blog this year. Voici!

1) Sunset Martin's Beach Half Moon Bay

2)Horsetail Fall 2016

3)Dawn in Manhattan



5)Radio City Music Hall

6)Allen's Hummingbird Male

7)Swanson Creek Cascade


9)Anna's Hummingbird Female perched on a branch

10)Vermillion Flycatcher

Voila! The Top 10 2016 Most Viewed Images on my Flickr site.

I’ve whittled  down my favorites of the year down to 35. Getting that number down to 10-15 is my next task and I’ll share those images soon!

I hope those that celebrate Christmas had a lovely Holiday, and those celebrating Hanukkah are having a great one so far, and I hope we all have a fantastic week!

More to come…

Plan B is for the Birds

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

My original Photography plans for last week-end fell apart mid-week when one of the friends I was going with fell ill.  Rather than go anyway which didn’t sit well with me or my friend Theresa we two switched gears and decided to go birding in the Central Valley to see what birds if any had arrived early.

I had read a few reports of early migrants in the area; we hoped to find one or two, and spend some time catching up with each other.

I left for T’s house early (6:30am) so we’d get to the Refuge in the morning when the birds are more active.

We found the first pond completely sans water. Fish and Wildlife have just started filling the ponds we discovered. Many of the ponds we’re used to seeing full of water were bone dry, but it is early in the season!

Just as we were starting the auto-route we spied a Doe and her Fawn in the tall grass. I didn’t get an image of them together. Mom decided her male Fawn was too close to the road and moved to higher grass.  Honestly, I think she looks young!

Doe  Deer Female

The Fawn has two little adorable antler nubs.Fawn Male

Early arrivals: There were quite a few White-fronted Geese on the little islands in the ponds that had water.

White-fronted Goose

Northern Pintails, and Shovelers are showing up, but I didn’t make any images of the Shovelers they were too far out. You see a Northern Pintail in image above giving me a one wing salute. 🙂

Among the usual suspects here were thousands of Dragonflies,

Dragon Fly

Pied-billed Grebes

Pied-billed Grebe

Night Herons; most were deep in the foliage, but one was on Sentry duty,

Night Heron

We saw a female Harrier flying low in the distance hunting, a few Red-tail Hawks, and as we approached the tree the Bald Eagles hang out in there we saw there was a Peregrine Falcon perched on a snag surveying the land.

Copyright © 2016 Deborah M. Zajac ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Once the Eagles return I doubt we’ll be seeing this Falcon in this tree. 🙂

Plan B turned out to be a great day, and it was lovely  hanging out with Theresa. You can find her images on flickr here.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm VR| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2015.5

More to come…












© 2015-2016 Deborah M. Zajac

While in Belize and Honduras last September we saw quite a few Iguanas. They’re the biggest I’ve ever seen!
I also didn’t realize they can be orange.

Iguana Male

They’re so prehistoric looking aren’t they.

Here’s the back end of an Iguana showing its huge tail, and really long toes.

Tail of Iguana Male

Another one chillin’ high over the Ladies Den

Iguana Male Honduras

Some of the Females hung out together in the shade on a slab of cement:

Iguanas Females

… and this one posed for me. “)

Iguana- The Poser

We saw some really neat wildlife in addition to the Iguana while on this trip. The Capuchin Monkey’s were super cute! I’ll be sharing images of them in the future.

Nikon Df & Lumix FZ200| Hand-held

I hope you all have a great week-end, and to those of you in the northeast USA I’m keeping you in my thoughts, and am hoping the storm isn’t too bad.  Stay warm and safe!

More to come…







Monochrome Madness 2/10: Sea Otter

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

MM2-10 Sea Otter

Taken in Moss Landing, CA last Saturday while out birding.  He was alone  in the lagoon, just floating, grooming, and occasionally diving for food.

To see all the other Monochrome Madness2 posts for this week (wk10) click here!

Nikon D300s| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f4| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| Tripod| CS6 & Silver Efex Pro2|

More to come…