Friday’s Feathered Friends- Red-breasted Merganser Male

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Late in January, I heard there was a Red-necked Grebe in Lake Tahoe and it’s a bird I’ve never seen so wanting to get out of the house between storms He-Man and I drove over there for a walk-about and see what we could see. No grebe anywhere, but I did see a small group of Common Mergansers, and one that didn’t look quite like the others, but looked like a Merganser. I made some images and when I got home uploaded the images and discovered to my delight the one in the group that was a little different was a Red-breasted Merganser Male. A new bird for me, and Lifer number one for 2021!

They weren’t doing much of anything when I saw the group. I think it was a bit early and they were still waking up. 😀

Male Red-breasted Merganser Lake Tahoe 2021

Fun facts about them gleaned from my favorite source allaboutbirds.org

  • The Red-breasted Merganser breeds farther north and winters farther south than the other American mergansers.
  • Red-breasted Mergansers don’t acquire breeding plumage until they are 2 years old.
  • Red-breasted Mergansers need to eat 15 to 20 fish per day, which researchers suggest means they need to dive underwater 250–300 times per day or forage for 4–5 hours to meet their energy needs.
  • The oldest recorded Red-breasted Merganser was a female, and at least 9 years, 6 months old when she was shot in Alaska, the same state where she had been banded.

That’s a lot of diving and foraging isn’t it!

I hope you all a lovely week-end!

Panasonic Lumix FZ200| PS CC 22.3.0

more to come…

Wordless Weds. Lake Tahoe between storms

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Lumix FZ200| PS CC 22.2.0 Lake Tahoe at Sand Harbor State Park 2021

more to come…

Whatever Wednesday-A Paddle on Lake Tahoe

Copyright ©2019 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Friday He-Man and I went kayaking on Lake Tahoe. It was his first time in a Kayak and he paddled like a BOSS!

We rented our kayaks from Kings Beach on the North Shore just a 45-minute drive from home.  We hired a guide since it would be the first time for both of us paddling on the Lake Tahoe.  It was a gorgeous morning, and the water was calm; perfect for a paddle.

He-Man in his sit on top kayak- We stopped at a Hot Springs near the shore. I never knew there was a hot spring in the lake. The steel fencing under the dock is where the hot spring bubbles up. A resort pumps the hot water to their spa for guests.

Dave

Our guide Michael had us hugging the shore for some of the paddle, he said, “get your kid out cause we’re going to paddle through the rocks.”

Paddling through the rocks

That was fun, and we spied an opportunist… another Bonsai Rock on the lake?Bonsai Rock

We weren’t the only ones paddling on the lake or paddling through the rocks.  There were quite a few SUP boarders out…I really want to try that! Of course, there were some seagulls.

A View from my kayak

We paddled out two miles out of the California side of the lake to the Nevada side. Hung out a bit in 1200 ft deep water then turned around and headed back in for more tales and sights from our Kayaks.  I have more views, birds, and an interesting house to share with you in the future.

I hope your week is going well and continues to! Happy Wednesday!

Panasonic Lumix FZ200| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 20.0.5

more to come…

 

 

 

 

Whatever Weds. The Tahoe Rim Trail

Copyright ©2019 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Saturday He-Man and I went hiking along the Tahoe Rim Trail. We heard the views were amazing, and I want to get back in shape and explore our new area. Since I feel out of shape and easily winded at this altitude still we opted for a 3 mile out hike and back.

We quickly discovered that Spring has sprung in the mountains at 7000 and 8000ft elevation. I was so excited!

Here are just a few of the flowers we saw.

Nuttall’s Larkspur with Bumble Bee. We took a side trip up the Vista Trail to the top of a ridge and found a view of Carson Valley and these wildflowers busy with Bumble Bees.

Wild Nuttals's Larkspur

Mule’s Ear was blooming all over the place and it was perfect blooming time!

Mule's Ear-Wildflower

Coast Paint Brush? I’m not positive this is what it is, but it looks like it.

Coast Paintbrush-Wildflower

There were thousands of Butterflies along the trail. I thought at first they were Painted Lady’s which I had heard were migrating through and there were thousands being reported but looking at them and my images confirmed that’s not what they were. It’s new to me called a California Tortoiseshell ( Nymphalis Californica).  There was also White cabbage and Sara Orange Tips I believe but, those little guys were already warmed up and flying all over the place rarely landing and when they did they alighted almost as soon as they touched down.

Californ Tortoiseshell- Nymphalis Californica

We had a glimpse of Lake Tahoe about 2 miles into the hike. It was a great place to catch my breath too.

Lake Tahoe from the Tahoe Rim Trail

I have more images of flowers I need to identify, and two birds too.

There is a gorgeous view we’re told 5 miles in, so we’re going to work up to that.  The Tahoe Rim Trail is 165 miles long going around Lake Tahoe. I’m hoping to do bits and bobs of it here and there, but I don’t think I’ll ever do the whole thing.

Our stats for the hike were:

6.5 miles total distance, 1000 ft elevation gain, and 3H:56 minutes…due to me stopping to smell the roses, watch butterflies, gaze at the views, and stopping to catch my breath.

It was a great hike! I hope I can get back up there before the butterflies flee, and the Lupine is in bloom.

I hope you’re all having a great week, and good Wednesday!

Panasonic Lumix FZ200| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 2019

more to come…

 

 

 

 

Sunrise Lake Tahoe Nevada

Via Flickr:
Copyright 2013 Deborah M Zajac. All Rights Reserved

I mentioned that I only had one full day to spend with Jackie so I left home the evening of the 5th and arrived at Jackie’s vacation Condo about 11PM.
Jackie showed me  the bedroom I’d have, then a quick tour around the condo. It was a lovely condo. My bedroom was spacious, and I had a bathroom to myself. We chatted for sometime on the deck while taking photos of the stars then we called it a day because I wanted to rise early to get the sunrise on the lake.

Sunrise is really early here at this time of year so, I set my alarm for 4AM.
I slept in a bit, but we made it out the door and to our destination in plenty of time for sunrise.
The sky was pretty flat, but we did get some nice pinks, and light on the distant Sierra Mountain Range.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 17-35mm| Singh Ray Graduated Neutral Density Filter| Induro Tripod| Markins Q20 ball-head

 

 

Clark’s Nutcracker

Copyright © 2013 Deborah M Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Clark's NutcrackerMy friend Jackie had thought to take or purchased bird food to lure  birds to her deck while on vacation in Lake Tahoe.
She had been feeding them all week; throwing bird food loaded with peanuts,seeds, and berries on the decking, setting it on the railing, and tossing some to the roof top below the deck.
By the time I arrived the birds to my delight were coming really close to us to get the food. I think we spent 2 hours on the deck photographing the Stellar Jays, and Pygmy Nuthatches.
Just as I was getting ready to quit shooting and get ready for our excursion around the lake this bird flew to the top of a farther Douglas Fir I think.  It’s not a bird I’d ever seen before. I thought it was a Thrasher at first by its bill, but KUDO’s to Jackie who identified the bird when she got home to New Jersey as a Clark’s Nutcracker.

It’s taking flight off the tree in the photo above. I’m glad I got this shot because it shows more wing and tail detail than my earlier shots of it just sitting and surveying the landscape in the photos below.

Clarks Nutcracker profile 2

Clarks Nutcracker Left Profile
Here’s another photo of a Pygmy Nuthatch with a bug or something in its bill.

Pygmy Nuthatch

Here’s a snapshot of Jackie and I in late afternoon light hanging around the shore waiting for Golden Hour and Sunset.

Jackie and I waiting for sunset Lake TahoeNikon D300s, and D700 w/Nikkor 300mm f4, and 17-35mm.

Bacon wrapped Filet Mignon

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved

Image

After a full day of photographing Fall color in Hope Valley, California  7 of us stayed the night in South Lake Tahoe and planned to shoot in the area on Sunday too. We met for dinner at Riva Grill on the Lake. I was craving a steak after smelling the delicious hamburgers a camper was grilling for lunch at one of our stops, and at Sorenson’s Resort the aroma of grilled steak was perfuming the air when we all met there at 5PM.
So I ordered the bacon wrapped Filet Mignon, garlic mashed potatoes, and fresh steamed asparagus. The wine we shared was a 2010 Toasted Head Cabernet Sauvignon. I ate the whole filet and asparagus and left the mash potatoes. I did taste them…they were okay. The wine was great the company superb!

Nikon D700| Nikkor 17-35@20mm| f8| 1/200s| ISO 400| Manual Priority| SB600 1/2 power I think| hand-held…I don’t have a clue what I’m doing with my strobe!