Insects of Point Reyes National Seashore

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I had pretty good luck spotting insects while hiking in Point Reyes National Seashore last week-end.  I saw Butterflies, Beetles, and Grubs. Here’s a sampler. 🙂

I’m pretty sure this is a Skipper, but I can’t find anything that looks exactly like it in my books, or online so, don’t know what it is.  I found it in Point Reyes National Seashore last week-end; July 9,2016.  Anyone know what it is and what it is called?

Unknown Skipper or Butterfly?

Other insects I found while exploring different areas of the park were:

A ladybug, one of several I saw…

Copyright ©2016  Deborah M. Zajac

a green and black beetle called a Spotted Cucumber Beetle,

Spotted Cucumber Beetle

who was pretty hungry,

Spotted Cumcumber Bettle

…a Common Buckeye Butterfly

Common Buckeye Butterfly

…and a grub or grasshopper served a la carte to a White Crown Sparrow that is banded. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a banded sparrow.

Banded White Crown Sparrow

Nikon Df w/28-105mm lens and Delkin Digital Film, and  Lumix FZ200 w/ Lexar Digital Film- Hand-held

More to come…


Thursday Doors 28/52

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Last week-end while in Point Reyes National Seashore I went out to Pierce Point Ranch which is where the road ends heading north in the park.   I was planning to hike out to see the herd of Tule Elk, but it was so foggy reports from hikers returning from the trail said they’d not seen or heard the Elk.  So, instead of hiking I stayed at the ranch and took photographs of some of the buildings and doors.

For the History Buffs:

The Ranch was constructed by Solomon Pierce in the 1860’s. It was the most successful “butter rancho” in Point Reyes Township.  

In the 1880’s the ranch was leased to a series of tenants, and in the mid 1930’s it was sold to the McClure family which operated it’s Grade B dairy until the about 1945, when dairy ranching ceased after 90 years. 

The complex includes the 1869 and earlier sections of the two-story main house, the tank house, school, woodshed, carpenter shop, blacksmith shop, dairy, horse barn, slaughter house, hay barn, hog sheds,  and pens.  It represents the most extensive surviving historic complex in the Point Reyes National Seashore. 

The Pierce Point Ranch on Tomales Point ceased operations in 1973. Three years later, Congress authorized creation of the wilderness area incorporating that ranch as habitat for the reintroduction of Tule Elk. Beginning in 1980, NPS invested in the rehabilitation of the ranch core, citing it as the best example of a nineteenth century west Marin dairy ranch. Pierce Point Ranch was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, and was subsequently opened to the public as an interpretive site.“~

Dairy/Long Barn Doors:

Long Barn Doors Pierce Point Ranch

The Dairy/Long Barn- It was so foggy the sky was white so, I converted this image to Black and White.

Long Barn Pierce Ranch

another image of the Dairy and shed with a couple more doors.

Dairy Barn Pierce Point Ranch

This might be the school house,

Pierce Point Ranch Point Reyes National Seashore

Closer look of door of possible school,

Door to building at Pierce Point Ranch

A closer look at that door knob, and pad lock,

Door knob and Best Lock Pierce Point Ranch

Here’s an image of a male Tule Elk that I took here back in 2012. Can you see the velvet hanging off his antlers around his face? He’s scratching it off and polishing his antlers.  I saw him on Bachelors Hill.

Tule Elk Male

The Bachelor’s; There were quite a few of them that year.  They were also pretty far away. My lens was stretched beyond its limits that day too.

Tule Elk Males

The only wildlife I saw while at the ranch Saturday was an Alligator Lizard sunning itself.


Alligator Lizard

It was a great day despite the fog and no Elk.

Nikon Df w/ Nikkor 28-105mm| Delkin Digital Film, and Lumix FZ200, Lexar Digital Film,

The 2012 images were made with the Nikon D700 w/Nikkor 70-300mm VR, SanDisk Digital Film

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.

More to come…

A Week-end on the Wild Side

A week-end full of wildlife photography that is.

I spent Sat. with a Meet up group out in Moss Landing, CA at Elkhorn Slough. We took a pontoon boat out in the slough and saw oodles of Otters, pups, seals, seal pups, and shore birds. The weather was warm, but overcast throughout most the day.

Here are Mom and pup. Mom trying to relax and the pup was as curious about us as we were about them.

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

These guys eat 25% of their body weight in clams a day! They are very cute.

Sunday morning myself and 2 friends headed back up North to Point Reyes National Seashore’s Tule Elk Reserve to hike out to Tomales Bay Point to photograph the Tule Elk again ,and some coastal scenics. We had rain in the forecast and were hoping for big dramatic clouds and nice moody scenes along the rocky coast line.

It drizzled the whole 2.5 hour drive up. As we headed out on the trail to Tomales Point it was still drizzling, and the sky was gray with no definition in the sky or clouds. Just overcast.

We reached the pond 3 miles out- there was an Alpha Male with about 25 females and 4 calves in his Harem.
Up on the hill was another male calling the females. He had about 5 females which deserted him for the Bigger Tule Elk down by the pond. He came down the hill and we hoped there would be a battle over the Harem.
The Bull on the hill didn’t put up a fight he let his females go. There was a lot of bugle calling and half hearted, and “I mean business ” charges from the Alpha Male which was enough to scare the Bull on the hill away.
He lost all his females to the Older Bull who had about 30 females in his Harem when we left them to continue out to Tomales Point.

The hike out to the point is 4.7 miles. On the way back my legs were tired. I carried with me the D300s, 17-35mm f2.8, and the 300mm f4 along with accessories and filters, lunch, water, tripod, and trail stool. I think my load was 20 pounds. Right now this is my current limit loaded with all this gear.

PP- Vibrance, clarity, a little fill light, some USM, and resized.

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

“Herding the new additions” Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

We were about to leave and continue our hike as we thought the action was over. There wouldn’t be a fight and the Alpha was herding the new females into the Harem, and giving them a thorough sniffing and sizing up. Sensing the Alpha was distracted the young bull took advantage and crept around the hill and down into the herd undetected…but only for a few minutes. Once the Alpha caught scent of the other bull, he called and charged! All the females moved out of the way as the Alpha charged the young bull. The youngster ran right by us and stopped just 6 feet away from us! Unfortunately, we had packed up all our gear to make the hike easier. Still,  it was so thrilling to be that close to them!

As we headed down the trail the young bull took off and we didn’t see him until we  were on the way back.

Out at Tomales Point the sky didn’t have the drama or definition we had hoped for in the sky, but the scenery was beautiful none the less.

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

Here at the point where the rain runs off were the most interesting and beautiful gullies, and patterns in the cliff.

We left the Point at 4PM knowing it would take us about 2.5 hours to hike back out. We saw a lot more Tule Elk at the pond. More of the unattached males were on the other side of the pond-away from the Alpha and his Harem. We didn’t stop to take photos but did pause a minute to look. Further up the trail the fog rolled in. I spent the whole day damp. Out of the fog we saw on the trail ahead of us 3 females and then we spied another Harem. We walked cautiously past them. Fortunately they were just as cautious about us and moved off the trail inland a little further.

We made it out to the parking lot in 2 hours 15 minutes. We were in dire need of dinner and I really wanted a pot of hot tea! We dined in Inverness at Priscilla’s Cafe. It was wonderful! I had a crab sandwich, mixed green salad, and mixed berry pie for dessert.

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

After dinner we walked across the street to where the Point Reyes is beached. I took a photos of her a few weeks ago when another friend and I came up. This time a night shot was what we were after. One of my companions had a big LED flash-light he used to light up the boat.

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

Using a technique called light painting he painted the boat, and foreground with light. I set up my cameras for a long exposure. This was a 67 second exposure.

On the way home I saw the Golden Gate bridge with the fog just starting to come in, and the city lights twinkling like jewels through it and wanted to stop to take one last shot before continuing southward home. My friend pulled over at the Marina Headlands where we spent a good half hour shooting the city and the bridge.

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

This was 59 second exposure .  I was happy to see I captured some Moon beams and a star too!

This was a lovely last shot for my week-end on the Wildside. Life is good!

Nikon D300s, Nikkor 300mm f4, Nikkor 17-35mm f2.8, Sundisk Ultra SDHC Digital Film

Point Reyes and Inverness

Beached and Abandoned we found her- the Point Reyes her chipped white paint looking pretty clean in the late afternoon sun.

This boat is pretty famous to photographers. I think all in the Bay Area have shot her. My friend Alex and I stopped here in Inverness to take a photograph of this boat in the morning light and we stopped again on the way home to shoot it in the late afternoon light. I have a favorite shot from each shoot.

I’ll post the morning shot in a day or two. I didn’t use any filters on this shot. I used my Nikon D90 with the Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8 lens.

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

These stags on the hill we past on our way to the pond. These are younger males. Not Alphas. They were without harems. Only 5 pointers I think.

They looked magnificent standing on this hill.

This I shot without filters as well. I used my Nikon D300s with the Nikkor 180mm f/2.8AF-D and Tamron 1.4x extender.

It was a little soft so I used a little smart sharpening to bring out some more of the texture and details of the fur/hair and faces.

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