Wild Wednesday 30/52 A Family Unit

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

We found more Wild Mustangs! It was an amazing long week-end.  The horses were cautious with our approach, but Jamie and I learned the ways while on our trip in July, so we approached as we were taught and sure enough the horses let us get near.  Nearer than we’d ever been!  One mare was overcome with curiosity and approached my friend T! She was a hair away from petting its nose before it startled a little.

I need to ask her if I can share that image. I was just 3 feet from her! Then the mare and her Stallion came heading for me, and I backed up…the Stallion gave me pause. What if he didn’t like me. I wasn’t ready for that fight! The mare understood and veered away.

Once a family unit crossed right between my friend Jamie and I. It was so close we had to back up!  It was incredible! They were within feet of me and her, and so close I couldn’t focus! Such a problem for a wildlife photographer to have right?  I wished I brought two cameras lemme tell ya! I regretted the decision not carry my second camera.

The horses stay more or less in family units of a mare, foal, older daughter, and the ever watchful and protecting Stallion.  The family units are spread out through the meadow with the bachelors are the outer edges.  The bachelors. There’s a whole nother subject, and I have images! I’ll share if you don’t get tired of horses.

Here’s one family that hung out close to us.  They’re beautiful, and the light was really good just then.

Family Unit

On the home-front:

It’s been wonderful having Big Baby Boy home. #1 Grandson is in heaven having him here, and the two are having good fun building with Legos, and going to the park together.  He and Baby Girl got some quality brother/ sister time in, and they even got to hang out with dear school friends while here.  I’m already dreading his departure on Thursday, but The Dark Haired Beauty, and work will be wanting, and needing him back.

The Wine Train was a lot of fun. We both enjoyed it and would do it again.  I didn’t get any good images of the exterior of the train engine. They don’t let you near it unless you’re in the first car and boarding. We weren’t we were in the last car.

I’m hoping we have a clear sky on the 27th through the 31 to photograph Mars. It will be the brightest and closest it’s been to Earth in 15 years I believe.  Even if you don’t want to photograph it go out and look!  It will be at its highest point at midnight and be visible most the night.  Look for it about 35 degrees from the southern horizon.

I hope your week is going well, and you have a wonderful week-end!

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

more to come..

 

 

 

 

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Wild Wednesday 28/52 Restless Bachelors

Copyright © 2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Back to the Wild Mustangs we go for today’s post.  I was fortunate to catch a pair of bachelors rough housing.   These three were a distance away from the main herd. No doubt they’d been chased off by a more dominant stallion or two.

The attack!

It's Mine, I tell Ya!

The rebuttal…

Bachelors Sparring

…and as quickly as it started it ended with this,

Horsey Make Up

Awwww! They’re so cute! I’m glad it wasn’t a “real” fight. They’re just practicing for their turn at a Mare someday.  I loved that they ended their sparring with a hug more or less.

I hope your week is going well! Happy Hump Day everyone!

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

more to come…

Wild Weds. 25/52 Family moments

Copyright ©Deborah M. Zajac  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

While out in the meadow observing the Wild Mustangs, and waiting for something to happen…because mostly all that horses do is eat! I happened to see this little family scene.

Family Unit

The horse on the far right wasn’t impressed so walked away and must have gestured or said something to the other adult because it started to get up…

Mare and Foal

Then I heard the rumble of horses hooves to my left and turned my camera to find it and saw this-

Get off my Dung Heap!

I missed what started it, but it was a mare, or a dung heap I’m guessing.  I learned a few things about Horse Behavior on this trip.  Stallions will fight over a pile of dung…their version of King of the Hill.

The Hazelnut brown horse chased the dark one all the way to the other side of the group.  Then all was calm again, and they went back to eating.

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

more to come…

Wild Weds. 24/52 Wild Mustangs of Adobe Valley Pt 1

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I’m back safely from my trip to Adobe Valley to track, see, and photograph Wild Mustangs!

It was a fantastic trip.  We stayed in two camps; a lower one the first night then we rode for 6 hours up to the upper camp in the high country.

Here’s a look at the kitchen and some of the other photographers. We were assembling for a walk out to the herd of Wild Mustangs that were in a huge meadow a mile and half from camp. The kitchen/hangout is on the far right under the tarp like tent.  Penny our cook had quite a camp kitchen set up.   The paddock the horses and mules were in are just to the right of that out of the frame.

Happily, I can report there wasn’t a hot dog, or hamburger to be found on the menu!

The food was awesome. I wanted to bring Penny home.

We had BBQ chicken, corn puddin, and fresh fruits, Stuffed Pork Chops, fresh mixed salad, homemade applesauce gravy, and summer squash sauté just right, and steak, baked beans, corn, and anything left over from the night before was set out to be eaten.

Breakfasts were hearty and kept us going until our lunch stop along the trail.

We had sausage and egg  comme Mcmuffins, steel cut oatmeal with all sorts of topping choices; raisins, brown sugar, syrup, nuts, fresh strawberries, and bacon, and French toast.

Snacks and lunches we made and packed for the ride each morning. We had turkey, or ham, or roast beef and assorted cheeses, chips, nuts, cookies, and fruit.

Snacks were nuts, dried and fresh fruit, chips, dips, OH, and desserts! Fresh baked berry pie, carrot cake, and oh, I forgot what we had the last night already!  I should have wrote it down. Penny made the cake in a dutch oven on the grill, actually most the meals were made via her huge Dutch Ovens.

We didn’t go hungry!

 

Lower Camp Adobe Valley

I’ll show you some of the camp. My tent, and others.  That cabin is deserted. A rancher lived there once. They told us it’s about 150 yrs. old.  The horse paddock was made of stone fencing instead of wood.  That’s one way to clear the rocks.

Cowboy/Wrangler Patrick setting up my tent.  The pack company provided tents, the cook, wranglers, horses, and tack.  We had to bring our own sleeping bag, and sleeping pad that was weighed in as part of our 40 pound dunnage limit. Patrick setting up my tent

Tents set up at Lower Camp

Do you want to see the Privy? Inside there is a box with a lid. Open the lid to find a hole cutout. It was just a hole dug out of the dirt under that box.  It wasn’t bad.  I don’t see a ziplock bag with toilet paper clipped to the tarp so someone is using it at the time I took this image.  That was the signal. 😊😊

In the upper camp we had two of these privies, and two showers with hot water!

Lower Camp Privy

My trusty steed Tip. He’s a 25 year old Gelding. They told me he’s a mutt. A mix of Draft, and Thoroughbred? He’s a gentle, and easy going horse.  Up in the rocky lava strewn hillsides I would get a bit tense;especially going down. I tighten up his reins a lot, but he’d ask for me more, and I gave him the slack on the condition that he kept me on his back, and didn’t fall.  He stumbled a few times, but he has four legs, and rebounded quickly.  I learned to trust him pretty fast.  He kept me on his back every ride.

Tip

We didn’t find any Wild Mustangs in the high country, but it was fun to explore and ride despite that.  We rode all the way into Nevada!

I took a pair of He-Man’s cycling shorts with a nice gel pad, and lots of butt butter.  My butt was fine, my thighs, and knees on the other hand not so much.  Riding up and down mountains on horseback is a workout! My thighs are still sore.  I hate sage brush! We were riding single track trails between the brush and too often my stirrups or toe would get caught in it and it would pull my leg backwards.  My knees are so bruised.

That is my only complaint about the trip.  The bush is brutal! Nevertheless, if Ken will have me I’m doing this trip again next year.

Okay, I know you want to see some wild horses.  Here’s one of my favorite images.  Taken just as the sun was going down.

Wild Mustangs at Sunset

Aren’t they beautiful?  There were several foals, but only 3 Yearlings.  The mortality rate is awful.  Not many foals will survive because of the mountain lions. 😢

I have tons of images to share so I’ll be sharing for awhile. I hope you don’t get bored!

I’ll be catching up with your blogs!

Happy Wednesday!

Nikon D810 w/ 200-500mm, 20mm f/1.8G. and iPhone 7Plus

more to come…

 

 

Thursday Doors 26/52: N°1005

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Wow, this week is the halfway point for my year commitment to posting a door a week on Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors! This year is just flying by!

While I was at the Rodeo last week-end hanging around the stables photographing competitions, and candid portraits I noticed the stable doors, so of course this week I’m sharing Stable Doors and a very shy horse.

N°1005 -I couldn’t get this horse to stick its head out the door for the life of me! I think I needed to have a carrot or sugar cube instead of a camera.

I do love the bits and pieces hanging from the opened half of the door.

Stable Door 1005

…a close up of the latch,

Stable Door Hardware

A Cowboy practicing his ropin’ in front of a Stable Door N°1022

Practice makes Perfect

Lassoing a dummy cow/bull in front of a Stable Door N°1022

Practice makes Perfect II

…and this blond beauty at N°1002 wasn’t shy about poking its head, and nose out to find out what the heck all the clicking was about. 🙂

Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This post is part of Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors.  If you love doors and would like to see the doors others are posting, or post doors you’ve photographed and join other door lovers from around the world click here.

At the end of Norm’s latest Thursday Door post is a little Blue Link-up/View button click it to be taken to a page with all the links to view all the posts, and add your own if you’re a door enthusiast too.

Nikon Df| Nikkor 28-105mm & 80-200mm| Delkin Digital Film| PS CC 2015.5| Hand-held

More to come…

Summer is…

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Rodeo!

I spent the day at the San Benito County Rodeo yesterday. It was hot and dusty, but fun to watch.  I got there early to photograph the cowboys, and cowgirls getting ready for their events, and capture some candid moments, and some posed moments too.

Here are Miss San Benito Rodeo 2015 in red, and Miss San Benito Rodeo 2016 in pink . They were helping out with the Halter Horse competition.

Miss San Benito Rodeo 2015 & 2016

Before the Rodeo started the Horse handlers were driving the Buckin’ Bronco Horses to the staging area.

Bronco Horses

Cow roping

Cow Roping Rodeo

Nikon Df| Nikkor 28-105mm & Nikkor 80-200mm| Delkin Digital Film| PS CC 2015.5

More to come…

 

 

Summer is…

Copyright © 2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

the Rodeo!!

I spent the day at the San Benito County Rodeo yesterday, and really enjoyed the action, and skill of the riders.

I took two cameras; My D300s with my 80-200mm f/2.8 lens mounted, and my Df with the 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.

I ended up switching the lenses to the opposite cameras, so I could use higher ISO for faster shutter speed to stop the fast paced action, and not have much noise to worry about. The Df handles noise much better than the D300s with its older sensor.

I set my shooting mode in Continuous High and made over 650 images. A lot of those are “lead up to the shot” images and will be deleted. I’ve made my first pass at culling them, but did develop several along the way.

So hold on to yer hats Cowgirls, and Boys…here’s a small taste of the Rodeo.

BBQ Pit- The Tri-tip was tender, and delicious

BBQ Pit

Ten Gallon Hats

10 Gallon Hats

Cowgirl Barrel Racing- She cut that one pretty well I thought

Barrel Racing Cowgirl Event

Rough Stock Cowboy and his Lasso

Rough Stock Cowboy

A Flag Girl

Flag Girl

Speedy Dismount- He was competing in the Calf Ropin’ Competition

Cowboy and his Horse

Deep in Thought- Shortly before his turn to ride a Bucking Bull

Deep in Thought

There were bucking bulls, and broncos and team ropin too. It was an action packed day!

More to come…