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Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I didn’t get out too much this past week-end unfortunately,  my original plan to shoot the night sky Saturday fell apart. So I had a Plan B, but that fell apart too. (sigh) Plan A got cancelled due to all the smoke in the air from the Detwiler Fire burning near and around Mariposa, and Yosemite NP.  As I write this 76,000 acres have burned.  Evacuation orders have been lifted in some areas, but Firefighters are saying it may take up to two more weeks for the fire to be fully extinguished.  It’s so sad!

Plan B was scuttled when a friend had to change plans, and I didn’t want to be alone so I stayed home and painted a bit.

Before all that happened my Archive Drive crashed Thursday and Saturday afternoon we were still recovering images and documents from our back-up drive, and cloud service. I can’t tell you how scary that is to think thousands of images made over the course of many years may be lost!  I’ve got them all back, but my external drive is full no doubt due to the huge 36mp files of the D810 so, we bought a new external drive which should be here this week. Then I’ll have my stuff backed up two places, have room to grow, and feel much, much better!

Saturday evening I pulled out an old book I have by Ferdinand Petrie, called Drawing Landscapes in Pencil and stayed up late to practice some drawing then I added some watercolor to it.  Wanna see? If you follow me on Instagram you’ve already seen this. 🙂

I had some new watercolor paper to try too. It’s by Legion papers called Stonehenge Aqua. I like it. There’s not much blooming or bleeding, and the colors look wonderful on it to me.  It’s got some tooth, but not as much as Arches cold press paper. I prefer the smoother hot press papers, so this paper just might be the perfect balance for me.

Ranch Watercolor

Sunday He-Man and I rose early to get on the trail early; we were extending our route and wanted to beat the heat. It was going to be in 90’s again Sunday. We were on the trail just before 7am.  There were quite a few cars already parked near the trail-head when we arrived.  A lot of others had the same idea to beat the heat and get an early start.  We parked at the bottom of the mountain, and planned to  hike up into Fremont Older an Open Space Preserve.

There are a few options to get up there; the most popular routes are:  take the road all the way up to stage 3 of the Parker Ranch Trail system and hike the rest the way up via the trail, or do what we did and walk along the road to Stage 1 of the trail, then you come out on the road again for a bit then catch Stage 2 which is the toughest bit with some switchbacks at an 8% grade.  I was huffin’ and puffin’ going up those. At the top of those you meet Stage 3 of the trail.  There are two sets of switchbacks on this part of the trail, but they aren’t nearly as steep as Stage 2’s.

When we crossed into Fremont Older Open Space Preserve we hiked up to the top of the Toyon Trail then turned around to head back. We altered our route on the way back by bypassing the Stage 2 part and chose a different section of the trail that meanders through an Oak grove, and you climb another steep hill to meet the road. We walked down the road to Stage 1 of the trail and  caught the road back to the car. Phew! Hope that makes sense! Here’s a screen shot of my route from my Garmin Edge 500.

Morning Hike Route Saratoga

He-Man’s not as fast as he was going downhill since his Patella Tendon ruptured nearly 3 yrs ago so, if my time looks slow…it is. When I’m heading down at my normal pace I get way ahead of him so, I turn around a go back until I see him. I get some extra steps that way too. 🙂

There was a lot of fog and, we’re getting some smoke from the fire up here. Here’s one image from the trail. I took this with my iPhone. I went gear light today.

View North from the trail

The faint peak in the fog and smoke on the right might be Mt. Diablo at  (3,889 feet (1,185 m)) high.  The highest hilltop on the left is Hunter’s Point in Fremont Older Open Space Preserve.

We hiked 4.34 miles,  gained 827 ft in elevation, and were back in the car headed home by 8:55am! Not too bad.

We spent the afternoon looking at Loveseats, and bought two. Our current two are really beat up and have needed replacing for over a year, but with a 4 yr old at home we put it off for as long as we could stand it.  Now we’re excited for the new ones to arrive!

That was my week-end. I hope you all had a lovely week-end and got to have a bit of fun, and relax so you’re ready for the week ahead.  I hope it’s a great week for us all!

iPhone 7 Plus| PS CC 2017

more to come…

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Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

White Yarrow- from a quick hike Sunday morning. I went early while the wind was calm. I was the only person on the trail both going and coming. It was wonderful having the hills to myself for just a little while.

White Yarrow Image

Nikon Df| Nikkor 28-105mm + Canon 500D Close-Up lens| Delkin Digital Film

More to come…

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I went for a short hike Sunday evening with friends, and found it super cold and windy up in the mountains above the valley floor.  There were so many beautiful wildflowers up there, but it was so windy I only made a few images of flowers. Macro photography and wind just don’t play nice with each other.

Nothing to do then, but find a composition and wait for Golden Hour, and hope that the clouds that rolled in don’t block up the sun and we get some color.

My fingers got so cold I couldn’t feel the heat from my hand warmers, and I was having trouble feeling my shutter button. After Golden Hour myself and a friend called it and started back down the hill to the car.  About halfway down the colors in the sky popped. I had to stop to photograph it.

Landscape Photography

I hiked down pretty fast after the sun sunk behind the mountains, and once in my car I cranked the heater as high as it would go, and waited for another friend who drove up with me. She and several others braved the cold and wind further up the trail.

I’m glad I didn’t hike back to the car earlier. I would have missed this!

Nikon Df| Nikkor 17-35mm| Delking Digital Film| Tripod| PS CC 2015 & On1 Photo 10| Single exposure

More to come…

 

 

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

So, WP has changed the layout and look of posting, and adding images is different. I’m  kind of struggling through the new changes. Was there a memo about the changes? I missed it if so.

For this week’s MM2; and I’m really late posting mine this week! Is another image from my hike up Slacker’s Ridge Trail. This image I made during the Golden hour before the mad rush of people headed out of the headlands, and into the city for dinner, shows, and general Saturday night Merry Making. 🙂

MM2 33 of 52 San Francisco Bay from Slacker Ridge Trail

Okay. Inserting my image went well this time. I didn’t have to delete it and try again! YEAH! “)

To see all the images posted this past week click here.

Nikon Df| Nikkor 24-70mm| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| CS6 & Silver Efex Pro

More to come…

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The day before I came down with Strep Throat I hiked up Slacker Ridge Trail with friends to view San Francisco, Fort Baker, Horseshoe Cove, and the trailing lights along US101/HWY 1 going in and out of San Francisco.  It was an amazing night. Just before we headed out for the night. We saw this bizarre rocket shooting across the sky with a triangle white light, and long blue tail.  It looked as if it were coming straight for us from San Francisco, but it veered to the right over the bridge and up, up, up and away.  Unfortunately, I had packed up my gear ready to head down the hill so I didn’t get an image of it.

It was reported that the Navy had test fired an unarmed Trident Missile from a submarine in San Diego. The Missile was seen in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oregon, Nevada, WA, and I read the target was in Alaska! It was amazing to see but, I do regret packing up my gear!

San Francisco Skyline from Slacker Ridge Trail

Nikon Df| Nikon 24-70mm| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| PSCS6

More to come…

 

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Gleaned from the trail while on my “stretch my legs” hike up the Steep Hill and beyond.

P52 37 of 52 Acorn Caps and Oak Leaves

This week has been a “red letter” one for me hiking up the Steep Hill. I made it to the top without stopping both times I hiked up the hill this week! It’s an 11% grade up to the top where my Lonely Tree is growing. See some trail images of the Steep hill here.

I think going up all those stairs last week while on the cruise ship paid off. 🙂

Nikon Df| LensBaby Composer Pro w/Soft Focus Optic & Macro Converters| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| CS6 & On1 Perfect Effects 9

More to come…

Copyright ©2105 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I didn’t venture too far for this image; just down the street. In hindsight I should have sought higher ground. Venus was setting fast and if I had been higher I might have been able to photograph longer ,so that Jupiter would have been brighter. Live and learn!

New Moon Venus and a Faint Jupiter

I do like the way the Moon looks, and am pleased I didn’t blow it out. 🙂

Jupiter is that teeny tiny white dot above and to the right of Venus which is the bright star next to the New Moon.

Nikon Df| AF-D 105mm f2.8@ f/10| 0.3sec| ISO 400| Manual Priority| Manual Focus| Tripod| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| CS6

+ 1 More…

He-Man and I have been hiking every week-end together since his Dr. and Therapist gave him the okay after he ruptured his Patella Tendon and had surgery last November.  He’s really come a long way.

Today he was up for hiking the steepest, and longest hike since he was given the okay.

We gained about 1000 ft in elevation and hiked just about 5 miles. Here are several images I made along the hike.

All were taken with my iPhone 5 and developed in Photoshop CS6

Hiker’s Foe…Poison Oak

Copyright © 2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Copyright © 2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Mexican Elderberry

Mexican Elderberry

Rain Clouds in the Southeast….Rain Clouds

<Moffett Field Historic Hangers

Moffett Field Hangers from the trail

An unidentified wildflower…or not

Unidentified Flower

Garrod Pond…when we take #1 Grandson on Pony Rides it’s at this stable, and pond that the guides walk him. I love seeing how excited he is walking the Ponies around this pond looking at birds/  in the trees for birds, and looking for ducks in the pond. His Mother says I am influencing his interests.  I can’t say I’m totally innocent or sans motive! If I am able to influence him to love nature, an his environment then I think I can take a back seat and let the young lead.

Garrod Pond and Vineyard from the Trail

I OT: I  offer no excuses I love being a Grandma, and I’m really glad that I’m able to keep hiking,  moving my legs, and hope that I am able to for many years  to come!  I hear the secret to living a long happy, active life is keeping the legs moving.

I am going to try my best to keep moving…uphill!  The reward is going home down hill all the way baby! 🙂

More to come…

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