White-tailed Kite

Copyright © 2013 Deborah M Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

A photo I took of a White-tailed Kite recently while trying out a friend’s lens.

White Tail KiteI wanted to see what 500mm looked like and how much closer I could get the birds, and test the weight of it.
It’s a pretty light lens actually. I got a lot closer view of this Kite!
This Kite is  calling its mate or parent, I’m not sure which.  Just a short time later a second Kite flew below this one. Together they flew off to another nearby perch. My friend and I moved our position to continue photographing them and discovered the second one brought a Vole for dinner. The  Vole is in the talons of the second Kite which unfortunately is hidden behind the branch, but it’s the best shot of the Vole I got before they started to consume it.
Kites with Vole_3576
Thanks Dali for letting me try your lens! I definitely want a longer lens for birding. I have to keep saving.

Nikon D300s| Tamron 200-500mm @ 500mm| f11| 1/1250s| ISO400| Manual Priority| Tripod


St. Ignatius Mission, Montana July 2011

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

St Ignatius Mission, Montana, USA

I had read about this mission and wanted to visit it while on my July trip to Whitefish, Mt. It’s only 1.5 hours to the east of where I was staying. When planning things to do with my friend Big Jay who wouldn’t be doing the steep hikes with me I thought this would be a great outing, and we could continue our Mission series that we’d started in Northern California. When I suggested it I delighted that he was interested, and game to go.

The most striking thing to me about this Mission is how different its exterior structure is from the Missions of California. This one is made of brick and mortar, and has the familiar look of a mid-sized Catholic Church , and has no inner courtyard, and large garden verses the Missions in California that are made of Adobe or stucco, with wood beams, and the familiar Spanish arches, and an inner courtyard with a fountain.

Their small garden has a statue of Christ carved by Fr. Anthony Ravalli, S. J. believed to be done during his stay in St. Ignatius in 1863. The statue is next to the Original Log Cabin. The first home of the Jesuit missionaries, built in 1854. Today it’s a museum with a collection of artifacts from various tribes of the Northwest. The clothes, and dolls kept me occupied for sometime. There are several old photographs of the local Indians that would come to the Mission. The man in office was very friendly and shared some facts and stories with us about the Mission.

The Original Log Cabin, and statue of Christ

The chapel is wonderful. The colors are soft and peaceful, and the Frescoes are outstanding in their workmanship, and artistry. There are 58 murals, painted in the early 20th century by artist Brother Joseph Carignano (1853-1919), an Italian Jesuit. He was a cook, and handyman at the Mission. He had no professional training in art.

The paintings depict scenes from the Old and New Testaments, as well as some saints. Below you see most of the Frescoes that are painted on the North and South walls, and the Triptych in the Sanctuary which tells the story of “The Three Visions of St. Ignatius Loyola” the founder of the Mission. To the right of the Triptych is a large Fresco titled, ” St. Joseph and Jesus, and the large Fresco on the left of the Triptych is titled, ” The Immaculate Conception.

Chapel, St. Ignatius Mission, Montana, Full view

Below is a piece of statuary that rests next to the Altar, and behind it  one part of the Triptych in the Sanctuary by  artist Brother Joseph Carignano (1853-1919), to the left of that are two smaller round Frescoes, the lower one is “Jesus the Bread of Life”,  and the one above it is “St. Luke Evangelist”.

Statuary in the Chapel - St. Ignatius Mission, Montana

Below in the foreground is the Altar with the depiction of  “The Last Supper”. I really like the soft pastel color palette, and ornate wood carvings that frame it. Behind the Altar another view of the Triptych, and to the right the small round Fresco is “St. Peter the Apostle”.

The Last Super The Altar in St. Ignatius Mission, Montana

The Fresco above the Triptych is titled “The Last Judgement”. To the right of it is a round Fresco titled “Moses receives the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai”,and to the left is a Fresco called “Manna and Water in the Desert”.

The Last Judgement

I shot the whole interior in Natural Light. None of the lights were on inside the chapel except those that lit the Triptych.  I thoroughly enjoyed visiting this Mission. I would love to come back and visit it again. If you happen to be passing near here it makes a wonderful side trip.

For the Historians:

Mission St Ignatius, St Ignatius, Montana, USA

St. Ignatius Mission is in Mission Valley on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Western Montana, about forty miles north of Missoula. It is bounded by the Mission Mountains to the east, and the hills of the National Bison Range to the west.

The Mission and the town that grew up around it were founded in 1854 by Jesuit missionaries and named for their founder, St Ignatius Loyola.

The present day brick church was built in 1891 and is now a National Historic Site, along with two small cabins, the original homes of the Jesuit Fathers and Providence Sisters, and the present rectory. The church took 2 years to build. The Indians, and missionaries together built the church of bricks made from local clay, and trees cut in the foothills, and sawed at the Mission Mill.

The building measures 120 feet by 60 feet with a belfry reaching nearly 100 feet.

The majority of the facts and figures I gleaned from a pamphlet I purchased while at the Mission.

Nikon D90| Nikkor 17-35mm lens| Benro C1691 tripod| release cable

July Hiking Report

Scenic Point.  (For a description of the photo above scroll down under the Hiking Stats.)

The highlight of my hiking in July was a trip to Glacier National Park. A beautiful and scenic wonder.

July 2011 Hiking Report

7/2 –   4.8 miles, 500ft. 2 hours, Redwood Regional Park- Stream trail,

7/5- 7.98mi,2,347ft,  3h 2m  – PG&E trail O&B

7/10-11 mi, 1800 ft, 4h40m– Woods Trail,Barlow Rd,Mt Umunhum Rd, Bald Mt trail- Out and Back

7/15- 7.90mi, 1,896ft 3h 00m – Vista Point Out & Back

7/15-3.6,mi  ft.not much, time not long– Mirror Lake, Yosemite Nat. Pk

7/17- 3.35mi, 250ft, 1h– PG&E trail to Wildcat Loop-PG&E trail

7/21- 9.77mi, 1200ft, 5h– Iceberg-Ptarmigan Trail, Many Glacier,Glacier Nat Park

7/23-7.8mi, 2,853ft, 4h40m– Scenic Point, Two Medicine,Glacier Nat Park

7/23- GPS coordinates at Trail-head 48.480005-113.361676

Total miles hiked-

56.2 miles

Total ft climbed-

10,821ft- does not include any guesstimate for Mirror lake hike.

 19 days to Cloud’s Rest!

Photo information

This is Scenic Point. I am on a ledge which is about 5ft wide seeking shelter from the wind along with my fellow hikers, and Pat Hagan our guide.

Looking this direction you can see the road into Two Medicine and above that Hwy 49 I believe. Looking further out toward the plains is where you’d find the towns of Kiowa, and Browning… I think.

I sat on this ledge and had a quick lunch. A Hairy Marmot peeked out of the rocks on the ledge and was hoping for his lunch too. I’m sure many people feed them, or just happen to leave big crumbs behind.

I want to come up here again. Hopefully, next summer. The deeper I hike into this park the more I fall in love with it.

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 17-35@ 28mm| f5.6| 1/200 sec.| ISO 200| Manual Mode| Hand-held

Here’s the Hoary Marmot

Photograph by Deborah M. Zajac

This is a ledge that I was sitting on just under the point up at Scenic Point in Two Medicine Glacier Nat. Park.  I’ve cropped off the tip of my boot from this photo. The ledge was only about 5 feet wide. The trees you see down there…that’s 7,000+ foot drop!
While having lunch and resting from the climb up this Hoary Marmot popped out.
He didn’t seem too shy. I’m sure he’s quite used to people.
It was the first time I’d ever seen a Hairy Marmot or any other for that matter. He’s cute!

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 17-35 @ 35mm| f5.6| 1/320 second| ISO 200| Manual Mode| Hand-held

“Remember the dreams you had as a child and realize it’s never too late to make them come true.” ~ Constance A. DeFlitch

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

I got to spend a full day with my friend Big Jay while in Montana. I had read about a Mission in St. Ignatius,MT and wanted to go tour it . Fortunately he was game. While in St. Ignatius we spotted this Barn and pulled over to shoot it.
I was busy photographing it when a young man drove up to the gate and unlocked it to let himself out. Big Jay asked if we could come around the gate to shoot the barn a bit. The young man was very sympathetic. He said he was a painter and was doing an acrylic of the Barn himself. He said he comes out to this very yard with his easel and paints. Wouldn’t I love a photo of that! I also wish I could paint like that. He left the gate open and told us to take our time, and have fun. We stayed about 30 minutes walking through many of the fields getting different angles and views of the barn. I liked this view with all the wildflowers growing over the fences.

Nikon D90| Nikkor 17-35@ 19mm| f8| 1/40| ISO 200| Manual Mode| Tripod| Self Timer

An Outdoor Café

Reynolds Mountain- Glacier National Park

© Copyright 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Wild Blue-Pod Lupine- McGuire Peak

© Copyright 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Olmstead Pt- Yosemite National Park

© Copyright 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

I hope you enjoy the view!