“Motherhood”…

Copyright © 2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

“Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.”

~Robert Browning

I want to wish all Mothers a very HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

Rose

Nikon D810| LensBaby Soft Focus Optic @f/4|1/20s| ISO 640| PS CC 2018

more to come…

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Wild Weds. 19/52 Mandarin Duck Male

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Several months ago I went birding near Sacramento, CA. to look for two exotic ducks, one was the Wood Duck which I blogged about here.  The other was the Mandarin Duck.

The week before I visited the pond there were two pair at the pond, but the morning I went there was only a lone male.  He’s gorgeous don’t you think?

Mandarin Duck Male

He sought the shade of a palm tree, but soon came out from under again, thankfully!

Mandarin Duck Male

Here are several facts about the Mandarin Duck:

The Mandarin Duck Drake is widely considered the world’s most beautiful of the ducks. It’s a native of China and Japan.  They favor small wooded ponds and avoid large bodies of water.

There are limited populations in the United States; they’re usually escapees from captivity.  China exported thousands of Mandarins, but the trade was banned in 1975.

They are wonderful fliers, able to fly through trees, with remarkable agility.

They will often perch in trees, but the female will lay her eggs (9-12 eggs) in a hole or cavity of a tree, or if a nesting box if one is available.  Once the Female has gathered her brood she takes them straight to the water!  Mandarin Ducks only pair up for a season. New pairs form again in the Fall/Autumn. ~https://www.livingwithbirds.com/tweetapedia/21-facts-on-mandarin-duck

I was thrilled there was still one there for me to see and photograph.

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm @500mm| f/8| 1/200s| ISO 800| Tripod w/Wimberley Sidekick Gimbal Head

more to come…

 

Gray Whale Cove Sunset

Copyright © 2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I had the pleasure of observing the last night’s sunset on the coast with friends.

It was a warm, peaceful, beautiful evening.

Gray Whale Cove Sunset

Nikon D810| Nikkor 20mm f/1.8 @ f/11| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2018

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Wild Weds. 18/52 Great Horned Owls

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Saturday some friends and I met up to go look for the Owls again.

The Owlets were out of the nest and high up in the foliage with Mom. I didn’t get any shots of them, but both the Male, and Female Adults gave us great looks.

When we first arrived in the park Gordon from https://undiscoverdimagesamongstus.wordpress.com/

was there already and had spotted the Male Adult Great Horned Owl in a tree opposite the nesting tree. Fortunately he was on a branch in the open, but it was well shaded.

He hooted off and on to the Mrs. and the chicks which was really neat to hear. I’m pretty sure he’s hooting in this image b/c his white chest feathers are prominent. When he was quiet it was just a line across his chest.

Great Horned Owl Male

Several hours later the Female flew out of the nesting tree to a huge Eucalyptus tree across from the nesting tree, and out in the open so we had a great look at her.  I’m sure she was able to keep an eye on the chicks from there.  It was evening by then and the sun was sinking lower, and getting more golden.

The light was so lovely on her. Isn’t she pretty!

Great Horned Owl Female

Here are just a handful of the Owl watchers that passed through to look at the owls.

In front row all in black is Gordon, then our friend Anna who you can barely see next to him, and our friend Brian the last one in the front row.  Myself and Dali were still taking images of the Female while these photographers, and birders were looking for the Owlets.  (This image I made with my iPhone 7 Plus.)

Owl Watching Golden Gate Park

It was another good birding day despite me not getting a good look at the owlets this time.

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| PSCC 2018

more to come…

Spring makes an appearance in the Backyard

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Baby Girl’s cruiser looks cute there among the flowers.

Bicycle among the Flowers

I wish it wasn’t so windy I’d do some macro photography. Maybe this week-end. Fingers crossed.

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 @ f/8| 1/50s| ISO250| SanDisk Digital Film| PSCC 2018

more to come…

Thursday Doors: Blake Garden

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I haven’t shared any doors in a long time, but thought I’d share a couple of doors, and some flowers that are in bloom from my visit to Blake Garden last Saturday with Gordon from undiscoveredimagesamonstus and a few other friends.

Blake Garden is owned and operated by UC Berkeley. It’s open Mon-Fri. Closed on week-ends except once a year it opens on the week-end for public visiting.

I’d never been there before and was looking forward to seeing and photographing flowers in bloom.  I wasn’t disappointed, and there were DOORS! Well, just a couple.

This Mission Style building was marked private. It looked empty, but had huge windows overlooking the view of the bay and San Francisco. Unfortunately, on this morning it was very overcast so the view wasn’t good.

This view was very good I thought, but the reflection had me the moment I saw it.  Anna and I waited sometime for this view to be people free.

Private Building with Koi Pond reflection

A closer look at the door:

Door Blake Garden

Standing in front of the house/building and looking east you see this! Do you see the Koi?

I love Stone Bridges, and this one is so cute. There’s a little door and a hidey hole too.

Koi Pond and Stone Bridge_DMZ6540-crop

A Columbine. I think it’s a Blue Columbine, but I’m not positive.

Blue Columbine

I laid down on the path to get a view of its face which was hidden when looking down and walking along the path.

Columbine

The Green Tool Shed had its door open and I liked the little peek inside and the foliage framing it.

Tool Shed

I have quite a few flower images, but I’ll end with a Red Poppy so it doesn’t turn into a Flower Post. 🙂

Red Poppy

This post has been part of Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors.  He’s a master gardener of doors.

Click on over to his website here and at the bottom of his post you’ll find the little blue frog. Click that and be taken to a list of all Door Gardeners that are sharing their door finds this week.

If you have a door or two you’d like to share please do! Norm gives us until noon Saturday Quebec time to post and link up!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 105mm macro lens & 24-120mm variable lens| SanDisk Digital Film|PS CC 2018

more to come…

 

 

Wild Wednesday 17/52 Wild Chicks in the Park

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Saturday I was feeling strong, and well enough to do some birding with friends. I rose 4:15am to be ready for my friend to pick me up then from there we drove north 50 minutes to meet Gordon from undiscoveredimagesamonstus

After meeting Gordon we headed north across the Golden Gate Bridge to go to a pond for birding.  We spent over an hour there then we headed over the Richmond Bridge to meet more friends at Blake Garden. After spending a couple hours at the Garden we headed to lunch. It was a great breakfast place. I’d go back and order the same thing.  I didn’t take any photos of my food I was too hungry by then.

After lunch and saying farewell to a friend we headed to Golden Gate Park to look for the Owlets we heard were there.

I was familiar with the tree the owls like to nest in having been to it several years ago, so finding that was easy, but we relied on birders there ahead of us to point us in the direction of the owlet nest.

Mama Owl was there too, but she was well camouflaged in the foliage much higher in the tree.  I have a really bad image of her I’ll spare you from seeing.

There are 3 owlets, but I was only able to see two of their faces. 😦  The one in the very far right is still sleeping.

Owlets San Francisco CA_DMZ6602

I changed positions to the other side of the tree and got this shot of one of the owlets.

Owlet San Francisco CA_DMZ6629-3

The only bummer for me was that I couldn’t find my 200-500mm lens to use that day.  I put it away somewhere safe when I went hiking in Quarry Hill Garden several weeks ago. Then I got the flu and was out of it for nearly two weeks. When I went to get my lens where I thought I put it it wasn’t there. I looked high and low, and couldn’t find it, so only had my 300mm with me, and it really was too short for the day.  Aside from that it was a fun, and successful day of birding.

I did finally find my 200-500mm the following day in a box with the Christmas ribbons and bows. I totally forgot putting it in there!

I’ll be sharing images from our trip to the pond and garden in other posts.

Nikon D810| Nikkor 300mm f/4| SanDisk Digital Film| PSCC 2018

more to come…