Spring makes an appearance in the Backyard

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Baby Girl’s cruiser looks cute there among the flowers.

Bicycle among the Flowers

I wish it wasn’t so windy I’d do some macro photography. Maybe this week-end. Fingers crossed.

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 @ f/8| 1/50s| ISO250| SanDisk Digital Film| PSCC 2018

more to come…

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Thursday Doors: Blake Garden

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I haven’t shared any doors in a long time, but thought I’d share a couple of doors, and some flowers that are in bloom from my visit to Blake Garden last Saturday with Gordon from undiscoveredimagesamonstus and a few other friends.

Blake Garden is owned and operated by UC Berkeley. It’s open Mon-Fri. Closed on week-ends except once a year it opens on the week-end for public visiting.

I’d never been there before and was looking forward to seeing and photographing flowers in bloom.  I wasn’t disappointed, and there were DOORS! Well, just a couple.

This Mission Style building was marked private. It looked empty, but had huge windows overlooking the view of the bay and San Francisco. Unfortunately, on this morning it was very overcast so the view wasn’t good.

This view was very good I thought, but the reflection had me the moment I saw it.  Anna and I waited sometime for this view to be people free.

Private Building with Koi Pond reflection

A closer look at the door:

Door Blake Garden

Standing in front of the house/building and looking east you see this! Do you see the Koi?

I love Stone Bridges, and this one is so cute. There’s a little door and a hidey hole too.

Koi Pond and Stone Bridge_DMZ6540-crop

A Columbine. I think it’s a Blue Columbine, but I’m not positive.

Blue Columbine

I laid down on the path to get a view of its face which was hidden when looking down and walking along the path.

Columbine

The Green Tool Shed had its door open and I liked the little peek inside and the foliage framing it.

Tool Shed

I have quite a few flower images, but I’ll end with a Red Poppy so it doesn’t turn into a Flower Post. 🙂

Red Poppy

This post has been part of Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors.  He’s a master gardener of doors.

Click on over to his website here and at the bottom of his post you’ll find the little blue frog. Click that and be taken to a list of all Door Gardeners that are sharing their door finds this week.

If you have a door or two you’d like to share please do! Norm gives us until noon Saturday Quebec time to post and link up!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 105mm macro lens & 24-120mm variable lens| SanDisk Digital Film|PS CC 2018

more to come…

 

 

Wild Wednesday 17/52 Wild Chicks in the Park

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Saturday I was feeling strong, and well enough to do some birding with friends. I rose 4:15am to be ready for my friend to pick me up then from there we drove north 50 minutes to meet Gordon from undiscoveredimagesamonstus

After meeting Gordon we headed north across the Golden Gate Bridge to go to a pond for birding.  We spent over an hour there then we headed over the Richmond Bridge to meet more friends at Blake Garden. After spending a couple hours at the Garden we headed to lunch. It was a great breakfast place. I’d go back and order the same thing.  I didn’t take any photos of my food I was too hungry by then.

After lunch and saying farewell to a friend we headed to Golden Gate Park to look for the Owlets we heard were there.

I was familiar with the tree the owls like to nest in having been to it several years ago, so finding that was easy, but we relied on birders there ahead of us to point us in the direction of the owlet nest.

Mama Owl was there too, but she was well camouflaged in the foliage much higher in the tree.  I have a really bad image of her I’ll spare you from seeing.

There are 3 owlets, but I was only able to see two of their faces. 😦  The one in the very far right is still sleeping.

Owlets San Francisco CA_DMZ6602

I changed positions to the other side of the tree and got this shot of one of the owlets.

Owlet San Francisco CA_DMZ6629-3

The only bummer for me was that I couldn’t find my 200-500mm lens to use that day.  I put it away somewhere safe when I went hiking in Quarry Hill Garden several weeks ago. Then I got the flu and was out of it for nearly two weeks. When I went to get my lens where I thought I put it it wasn’t there. I looked high and low, and couldn’t find it, so only had my 300mm with me, and it really was too short for the day.  Aside from that it was a fun, and successful day of birding.

I did finally find my 200-500mm the following day in a box with the Christmas ribbons and bows. I totally forgot putting it in there!

I’ll be sharing images from our trip to the pond and garden in other posts.

Nikon D810| Nikkor 300mm f/4| SanDisk Digital Film| PSCC 2018

more to come…

 

Wordless Weds. 16/52 Western Meadowlark

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

HELLO!  I’ve missed you guys!  I’ve been MIA for what seems an age.  I caught the flu on the 5th and am finally out of bed and back in the land of the living!

It’ll be a few more days before I’m back to normal strength, and the Doc says the cough is going to linger for a week more or so, but I’m as happy as this Meadowlark singing its song.  I could break out in my own kind of Happy to be over the flu song, but the cough…and my voice is a bit hoarse, so I’ll spare you. 🙂

These two images are from earlier in the year. I can’t wait to get out with my camera. It’s missed me. 🙂

Western Meadowlark Male Singing

Western Meadowlark Male poser

How are you guys? Holding up and faring a far sight better than I’ve been I hope. I’ll be catching with your blogs soon!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| SanDisk Digital Film| PSCC 2018

more to come…

Wild Weds. 14/52 A Wild Good Time at the Races

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

On Saturday I went to a car show, but discovered the night before that there would be drag racing too, so I spent all my time there photographing the racing, and not the many, many cars that were parked for viewing.

Two of my photography girlfriends in our group decided to join me, and we had so much fun.  We were trying the “panning technique”.   It’s not a technique I employ often. This technique requires one to slow the shutter down a bit, then track your subject while it’s moving then when it gets to the spot you want it to be gently squeeze the shutter while following your subject through the squeezing/releasing of the shutter.  It happens in a nano second.  I didn’t think I was doing it very well, but have more keepers than I thought I would.

The idea is to show movement/speed/motion while trying to keep the subject in focus.  It takes a bit of practice.

Settings I used were f/10-f/14, and I varied my shutter speed between 1/125s, 1/100s, and 1/80s in the beginning, and ended up using 1/125s and 1/100s the most.  I had really good light so kept my ISO at 100.

I liked f/13-f/14 the best for keeping more of the car in focus.

I also wanted to stop the action to show different parts of what was going on.  I just raised my Shutter Speed in those instances.

I was using Manual Priority, Auto White Balance, Matrix Metering mode, Single Point Focus, and Single shot shooting mode throughout the shoot.

So, there’s the technical bits, lemme show you some images from the races. “)

N738sp

Drag Racing Car

Dan Nayl Or

Drag Racing Dan Nayl Or

They approach the starting line with attitude, noise, and whole lot of burning rubber. 🙂

Burn Rubber!

These cars are fast! From the start to finish this car did it in 10.962 seconds at 134.44 miles per hour! One dragster later on clocked in over 200 miles per hour! WILD! 🙂

10.962s  134.44MPH

We spent 2 1/2 hours shooting just cars racing up this track. The time flew by! When it was time to head down to the car show to meet the rest of our group we stopped by the pit area for a closer look.

Can you smell the burn? 🙂  Man it was ear drum bursting noise down there!

Can you smell the burn-Burning Rubber

It was so much fun. I can’t wait to go back.

Nikon Df| Nikkor 24-120mm f/4| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

Wild Weds. 13/52 Wild California Poppy

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This is one of the first Poppies I saw in bloom this season. I spied it all alone while on a “stretching my legs” hike a few weeks ago.

It’s Easter on Sunday and I’ll be spending the day with family.  I hope you all have a lovely week-end, and a wonderful Easter if you celebrate it.

Nikon 810| Nikkor 105mm @f/5.6| San Disk Digital Film| Handheld

more to come…

Wild Weds. 12/52 Duck, Duck, Goose!

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A couple of weeks ago when I shared the Snow Leopard  images here 

I mentioned that my friend and I went birding before we visited Sacramento Zoo. We went to Sacramento, CA to find special ducks, and geese.  The Ducks were some of the most colorful ducks here in the States.  Wood Ducks, and a Mandarin Duck which I’ll save for another post, and a new Goose for me the African Goose.

There were a couple pairs of Woods Ducks, and quite a few African Geese making the day very successful.

Wood Ducks can be found here all year long, but we see them mostly in Spring.  They have sharp, strong claws that allow them to climb branches. They will nest in boxes if they’re provided, but if not they’ll nest in holes in  trees.  The Wood Duck is the only North American duck that regularly produces two broods in one year.  The Wood Duck is considered one of the prettiest of all waterfowl.

Wood Duck Male

Wood Duck Male

Wood Duck Female- She’s looking up at a nesting box that the Wood Ducks kept taking turns flying up to.  They’re paired up now so brooding is on their minds no doubt. 🙂

Wood Duck Female

Wood Duck pair-  I was focused on the male, and shooting at f/8, but the female isn’t as sharp as I would have liked her to be.  What do you think he’s talking about? Traffic on the pond? Or how beautiful she is? Or how wonderful he is at nesting, and fathering chicks? 🙂

Wood Duck Pair

The African Goose- Isn’t really from Africa they think it’s really from China and related to the Swan Goose from China.  It’s most distinguishing feature is its knob on its bill/face front.

I’d never seen this Goose before. We don’t have many knobbed fronted birds here, but it’s a beauty.  It’s not listed in either of my Bird books for North America so, I turned to Wikipedia for information about it. See below the images.

This one might be a mix of white and brown because of the orange in its knob, or maybe it’s breeding colors? IDK? 🙂

African Goose in the Pond

Several came out of the pond to forage on the lawn. I liked the way this one stopped foraging to give me “the look”.   I didn’t get any closer.  🙂

African Goose

Here’s an image of what I think is a male African Goose. It was HUGE, and you can see the Dewlap (the hanging bit under the chin) that is mentioned below as a distinguishing feature.

African Goose Male

The African Goose is a breed of goose. The African goose breed most likely originated in China, despite the name. They may possibly be related to the wild swan goose a smaller species of goose, just like their close cousin the Chinese goose. Though they share some similar characteristics (such as colour variations), the two can be distinguished by the African’s larger dewlap and different knob shape. African geese are also quite a bit heavier than Chinese, and are better known for their docile temperaments. Also, they are known to lay far fewer eggs than Chinese geese, 25-40 eggs per year for the African goose vs. 40-65, or, in extreme cases, up to 200 eggs per year for Chinese geese.

Two origin theories persist for the fowl: the first purporting that Africans are the result of crosses of swan geese and Chinese, while the other asserts that they are pure derivations of the swan goose, and their unique traits are simply the result of selective breeding. Whichever the case, it has existed as a distinct breed since at least the middle of the nineteenth century, and was admitted to the American Poultry Association‘s Standard of Perfectionin 1874.

Ganders often have a higher pitched call than the geese, and are taller, while the females are shorter and stockier, with larger keels or lobes.

African geese appear in three color varieties: Brown, Buff and White. Browns have black bills and knobs, and plumage with irregular shades, from a very light to dark brown. Whites have all-white plumage and orange bills and knobs.” ~https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_goose

 

It was an outstanding morning at the pond seeing these and several other species.

I hope your week is going well, and it’s easy going til Friday!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| San Disk Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…