Allen’s Hummingbird-Male

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A friend and I went over the hill  yesterday to photograph Allen’s Hummingbirds.

“Over-the-Hill”, is how we long time locals say we’re going to Santa Cruz, CA.  We have to go up and over the Santa Cruz mountains to get there. They are mountains not hills, but I learned this phrase as a girl and use it to this day. You know how that is I’m sure. 🙂

Anyway, Allen’s Hummingbirds. They’re residents of Southern California, and northwestern Mexico, and migrate into southern Mexico for winter, and in breeding season migrate north along the coastal areas.  Luckily, they have found a lovely late Winter home in Santa Cruz where I’ve been able to view and photograph them for several years now.

Their colors are so different from the Anna’s Hummingbirds that I see year round.

Allen's Hummingbird Male

They’re also quite funny, and sometimes their expressions and posture make me laugh out loud. Like this move I call- On Guard!

On Guard!

It still makes me laugh!

They have the most beautiful Gorget that gleams a brilliant orange when the sun hits it just right.

Allen's Hummingbird Male

It’s always a joy to see them and spend a couple of hours in their company.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2015

More to come…

 

 

 

Ruffled Feathers

Via Flickr:
Copyright © 2014 Deborah M Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Another Allen’s Hummingbird image I made last week-end. He has a little smudge on his breast that I’m tempted to clone out, but I also like him the way he is in his natural environment. What would you do clone it out, or leave it?

Nikon D300s| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4 @ f8| 1/400s| ISO 500| Manual Priority| Matrix Met| Tripod| Santa Cruz, CA| Fine weather

An Ice Plant Sunset

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

I decided to spend the night in Santa Cruz the night before shooting the Moonset at Pigeon Point Lightstation. I would be able to sleep in an extra 40 minutes. Which meant I could sleep until 3:45AM and only drive 30 minutes to my shooting location, and I would get to spend some time with my friend Rainey.  We met at the University of Santa Cruz Arboretum to photograph the Allen’s Hummingbirds that return each February to the succulent garden at the Arboretum. They are so cute, and very active. This guy hardly stayed still 2 seconds together.  He looked kind of cross about me taking his photo a few times. You don’t suppose he’s sticking his tongue out at me do you?

We stayed at the Arboretum until closing time then we went to Vasili’s Greek Restaurant on Mission Blvd. for dinner. We shared an order of SPANIKOPITA: Spinach and Feta Cheese Baked in a Filo Dough Triangle which was served with fresh sliced lemon to squeeze over the warm filo triangles, and an order of KEFTETHAKIA: Greek Meatballs. These were served sitting in a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil, and garlic vinaigrette.  These were to die for! We both wished we had ordered these for our entrée.

We both ordered the HORIATIKI SALATA for our entrée.  A salad of  Capers, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, Red Onions, Feta Cheese, Pepperoncini & Greek Olives, tossed with a light vinaigrette and topped with a slice of fresh French bread for dipping into the vinaigrette. They offer 2 sizes small and large. The small was  more than plenty.

Neither one of us had room for dessert. I will definitely be returning to Vasili’s.

From here we went over the Natural Bridge State Beach to shoot the sunset. (See 1st photo) After the sun went down, and the color faded we began to pack up and call it a night, when a woman who parked in the spot next to me asked,” Are you taking photos of that thing in the sky? What is it?” I looked up and saw what looked like a rocket streaking across the sky heading southwest with a long contrail then at that moment something broke off the contrail and it fell toward the sea.

and the end of the contrail with the little piece falling off …

Then it just disappeared. Poof. It burned up. A meteorite? Space junk? We have no idea. There was nothing in the paper. Perhaps it was  just a flare? It made for an interesting end to our afternoon and evening.

Rainey and I went for a coffee, then said good-night  as we both had early wake-up calls. Her’s for work, mine for a Moonset.

Santa Cruz, California, Natural Bridges State Beach, Nikon D700| Nikkor 17-35mm & 80-200mm| Induro Tripod| Dinner photo taken with my iphone