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.


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


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!


Kayaker on Lake Tahoe

Copyright © 2011 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

This was a fortuitous shot. One of those shots you imagine before hand then all too often  it never happens when you get to the spot. While scouting out positions to shoot Bonsai Rock at sunset I decided to wait in the shade of this pine tree while my friend Dali was taking off his waders as he had just come out of the lake. I was gazing at the lake when this kayaker rowed  just outside my frame. I couldn’t believe my luck! I have so often wished for  a surfer, sailboat, or ship to come along when shooting bodies of water. My second thought is usually, ” if I were able to paint I’d put  X right there”.  I was thrilled. I know something like this won’t happen every time I want it to.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 17-35@ 22mm| f14| 1/40 sec| ISO 200| Manual Mode| Hand-held| Circular Polarizer

Dali in the Lake

Sunset on the Lake

Sunset on the Lake, originally uploaded by dmzajac2004-.

Via Flickr:
Copyright © 2011 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Inspired by several flickr contacts to shoot this location myself I put it on my “Bucket List”. I was in Hope Valley yesterday hoping to score one last day of shooting Autumn colors, alas all the leaves were gone and those that remained looked fried. So, two friends and I switched gears and drove to Lake Tahoe to find Bonsai Rock. We weren’t really that far away at this point so why not?
We found the location and hiked down the 100-150ft of steep, slippery terrain and scouted out several possible shots.
Then we hiked back up and drove up the highway enjoying the views to pass the time.

We got back to Bonsai Rock well before sunset then  we hiked back down and set up to wait for the sunset. The color wasn’t as spectacular as I had hoped, but I won’t complain. It was so quiet, and peaceful listening to the water gently hitting the rocks , and hearing the birds sing, all the while my eyes scanned the scene taking in the gradual color shifts and beauty that surrounded me.
I’m hoping to do a sunrise here someday. This location stays on the bucket list! This whole area is beautiful and definitely worth repeated trips.
On another note- The more I use my D700 the more I love it. The Dynamic range this camera gets is amazing!

A huge shout out to those who inspired me to venture out to his location with their beautiful photographs of this spot- MattyD90, M. Shaw, and Steve Sieren. You can find their work in flickr.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 17-35 @17mm| f8| 1/160 sec| ISO 200| Manual Mode| Tripod| Release Cable| 2-stop GND-(Singh-Ray)