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Tag Archives: Santa Clara County

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Amen in the form of a Ram protecting Pharaoh

Nikon D810| Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Nikon is having a sale or instant rebates going on right now. Several of the high end Prosumer Cameras are in this sale. Some are bundled with lenses, and all come with some freebies to sweeten the deal.  Nikon comes out with new cameras every 2-4 yrs.  It normally is 2+ years, but there are sometimes set backs which push out the dates.

I jumped on the sale and picked up a Nikon D810. The tech inside the camera is 3 yrs old so, I’m sure there’s some kinda wonderful new camera coming down the pipe later this year, but for me this camera is a huge jump up in tech. It will replace my 6+ year old D700.  There’s still a lot of life left in the D700, but she has been my wildlife camera since my D300s’ auto focus motor went out.

It wasn’t worth the price to fix the D300s so, the D700 is what I have been using.  It has 12.3 MP and cropping in on little birds has been limited.  Stepping up the D810 with its 36MP I’ll have room to crop heavily and not lose resolution, and for landscapes, macro, and studio work the images will contain all sorts of lovely details that will be wonderful when making big prints.

As you might imagine I’ve been photographing things with the new camera testing it out since it arrived on Tuesday. I’ve been tweaking it; getting the buttons and dials, and features set up the way I like them.  Here’s a look at some of what I’ve been photographing last week.

Thursday night’s sunset at Lake Vasona. Nikon D810 + 50mm f/1.8G

High Pass resize Vasona Dusk

I spent all day shooting with friends on Saturday at San Jose Municipal Rose Garden and other venues.  The garden was awash in color! Nikon D810 + Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D micro

Fill the Frame

3 Garden Arches D810 + Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D micro

3 Arched Trellis'

A Bird of Paradise in the Garden at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum.

D810 + Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D micro

Bird of Paradise

…and Mother’s Day Sunset at Lake Vasona using the 35mm f/1.8G lens my children gave me for my Birthday/Mother’s Day.  I’ve have wanted this lens since it came out several years ago. I sold my old 35mm f/2D lens about the time this lens came out with the intention of buying the new lens, but I never did

get one. There was always something else that I needed to have so couldn’t afford it.  I am thrilled and so blessed to have been gifted this lens. D810 + Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G micro

Vasona Lake Sunset Mother's Day

I really love how quiet the shutter is on the camera, and it’s a bit lighter than my D700. The grip is deeper which is nice when holding it, and the buttons are laid out perfectly for my hands.  A couple of buttons have been moved to new places on this camera and I’m getting used to that, but overall I’m really happy with this purchase. I think it’s going to be a pretty great all-around camera which will give my trusty Df a break, and retire my D700.

Nikon D810| Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D, 35mm f/1.8G & 50mm f/1.8G | Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Saturday I paid another visit to the wildlife refuge with the Anna’s Hummingbird chicks to see their progress.  Seeing them was nothing short of amazing! Each visit brings new delights, and wonder to my eyes and soul.

They were bigger and their feathers, and colors were more like Hummingbirds now.  I must have just missed Mom when I got there.

Anna's Hummingbird 3 wks old

It wasn’t long before she returned to feed them. Here’s probably the last image I’ll have of them together as a family.

Anna's Hummingbird Family 3wks

After feeding the chicks rested a minute. Then the one on the right got very active flapping its wings preparing for flight.

Spreading their Wings

Preparing for Flight

…and before I knew it it did an in flight turn just milliliters above the nest and BOOM! it was on the branch! ” Ta Da! Look! I’m as big and beautiful as Mom!”

Looking Just Like Mom

Siblings on the verge of Adulthood, and Flight.

Anna's Hummingbirds 3 weeks old

I heard yesterday that they are flying around well above the branches now. They’ll be leaving the nest today I think.

I feel so blessed and lucky to have seen these two delightful gifts of nature.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

 

 

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Here’s the post I promised on Monday here that I would be sharing this week about a birding surprise.

After sunrise, and a little birding last Saturday Gordon, myself, and another friend went to breakfast then we headed over to another part of Don Edward’s Wildlife Refuge to check out the Anna’s Hummingbird on her nest.

I had heard from a good friend that she had had her brood of two. There were indeed two chicks in the nest, and their eyes were open!

They waited for Mama to return to the nest with food! They were so quiet. I thought they would be peeping constantly, but they didn’t.  They look too big for the nest already don’t they.  Mom must sleep on top of the nest with them smooched down into the nest to keep them warm at night.

This nest isn’t deep in the canopy either! It’s pretty exposed.

Anna's Hummingbird Chicks eyes open

When the chicks are new their Mom will leave the nest for very short periods of time. Just a minute up to 15 minutes to find food. The chicks can’t keep warm without her so she doesn’t dare leave them alone long. Once they can regulate their own temperatures and keep warm she leaves the nest to forage for food for up to 20 minutes.  This Mom would leave for 15-20 minutes, but return to do buzz or hover check several times too.

Here is the Female/Mom just returning from a food sortie.

Anna's Hummingbird Female Returns to her Brood

Two little beaks hungry and not patient anymore.

Anna's Hummingbird with Hungry Chicks

Food at last!

She eats insects and drinks nectar which she regurgitates as a liquid mixture into the open mouths of the chicks.  She’s on the go constantly hunting for food and feeding the chicks every 20 minutes! The male doesn’t help at all feeding or raising the chicks. If the male does come around the Female will chase him away b/c she finds him a threat to the chicks.

Anna's Hummingbird Feeding her Chicks

These chicks are already a couple of weeks old. At 3 weeks old they will look more like Hummingbirds, and will be testing out their wings more to get ready for flight.  Once they’re flying the Female will show them how to catch bugs, and drink nectar, and within a few days of that the chicks will fly away as adults never to return to the nest.

I can’t tell you how amazing this was to watch and photograph! It was gift!  It’s so moving, and beautiful watching her feed the chicks and knowing how dedicated she is, and how tired she must be. These images were made on March 18, 2017

I dropped by Thursday afternoon (3/23) to see them. They were still in the nest with Mama feeding them every 20 minutes. There was quite a crowd there, and I had #1 Grandson with me. He got a kick out seeing the chicks too. I didn’t break out my camera today. I was holding #1 in my arms so he could see them, but I’m hoping I can get back over once more before they fly from the nest which may be as early as a week and a half away.

For more information about Hummingbird chicks you can visit http://www.worldofhummingbirds.com/baby.php

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 2017

Have a wonderful week-end everyone!

More to come…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm @460mm| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

After all the rain we have had I’ve been itching to get out to Uvas Canyon to photograph the creeks, and waterfalls, but Uvas Canyon County Park was closed for about 2 weeks due to flooding, and high water. It just reopened on the 27th so, this morning #1 Grandson and I went up there for a little hike.

The creeks are full of rushing water hurrying down the hills, and the waterfalls are full and lovely.

I stopped along the creek to make some images on the way up the trail.

swanson-creek_dmz8788

I really wanted to get in the creek and get to some better angles, but with #1 Grandson with me that wasn’t a good idea. He was wanting to get in to go for BIG rocks to throw. 🙂

Swanson's Creek

He was trooper and made it all the way up to Upper Falls, and back on his own two feet. Although while throwing rocks in the creek he waded in after a big rock and got his feet and shoes wet.  He said he had lots of fun today.

He did sit and pose for me, and give me a silly smile.  I’m crazy about this boy!

Jaxon Swanson's Creek Uvas Canyon

Uvas Canyon County Park

I am hoping to get back up there with my Wellies and maybe not #1 Grandson so I can get in the creek and head up and down a few more trails where there other little cascading falls to photograph.

I have several more images to work on I’ll share soon.

Nikon Df| Nikkor 17-35mm| Delkin Digital Film| PS CC 2017 & On 1 Photo 10.5

More to come…

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

…in a puddle.

We’ve been enjoying a fair amount of rain in Northern California of late. So much so that Northern California has been declared officially out of the drought!  The reservoirs are full and spilling over, and the aquifers are filling up. WHOOO-HOO!

Last week-end I had signed up to join one of my Meet-Up groups at a National Wildlife Refuge to do some birding. Thankfully the weather was partially cloudy and no rain was in the forecast.  Gordon who some of you know from Thursday Doors lives just north of me an hour or so was also going and has caught the Birding Bug…it’s addicting! Just sayin. We talked/emailed ahead of time and after hearing my plan to get an early start and visit another refuge, and stop for lunch at my favorite burger joint in Merced before meeting the group he decided to join me.

Gordon picked me up at 6:3o ish in the morning and we headed south down to Hwy 152…Pacheco Pass.  Famous for gnarly accidents, and its beautiful rolling hill scenery.

It’s a two lane highway/pass that gets far more traffic than anyone foresaw way back in the day when highways were being constructed.  Just outside of Gilroy, CA…the Garlic Capitol of the USA are vast fields that used to be used for flowers, and garlic. Today they’re used for garlic, flowers, pastures, and ….fields.

After rain…heavy rain there are pretty good sized puddles, and fog out in the countryside, and while Gordon and I were driving to Merced we saw both our dreaded Tulle fog, and puddles. There was a vineyard and hills with fog that we loved so we pulled over to photograph what we saw, but the sun was rising just then and by the time we got our gear set up the fog had retreated to the farthest trees. Isn’t it annoying how fast the fog, sun, and moon disappear when you break out the camera gear! Seriously!

While Gordon was photographing the vineyard across the road and the field we parked in I was interested in photographing the setting Moon above the fog and hills. I found a big puddle with the reflected Moon in it and thought, ” this is where I’ll make my composition.”.  This is the resulting image.

Mist, Moonset, Puddle, Reflection

By Spring I’m hoping the powers at be will relax the stringent conservation rules and relax them a bit since we’re going to have a surplus for a while up here in the north. Southern California hasn’t seen enough rain to break through the drought yet, but by Spring when the snow melts I hope they do. There’s a lot of snow in the mountains and I’m hearing it has good water content.

I’ve lived in California since I was 1 yr old. My Mom wanted out of the south and live in a warmer climate with fewer bugs.  Thank you Mom! 🙂  She did all she could to get my Father to get a commission in CA.  He was in the Marines then.

This is the 4th severe drought I’ve lived through. Severe meaning putting buckets in the shower, and bathtub to catch all the running water while it’s heating up to do dishes, and water plants, taking a ten minute or less shower. I hate that! I love a HOT, LONG shower! We gave up watering the back lawn all together and only watered the front lawn twice a week for 10 minutes, and severely cut the amount of lawn and plants we have outside due to the severe drought, the cost of water to maintain them was too dear, and the worst is not flushing every time. The motto in a drought is: ” Let the yellow mellow, and flush the brown down”.  That’s the reality at my house during drought years.

I’m so happy the drought is over!  I hope prices of water will come down soon, but I’ll continue to conserve and not waste too much water because I know it’s only a matter of time before Mother Nature and weather here in California go into another long drought cycle.  It’s California, a very arid and drought prone state. I fully anticipate a 5th severe drought in my lifetime.  Long sigh. Earthquakes and droughts…long droughts. You really don’t want to move here.

I hope the Northeast and other parts of the country get enough rain, and snow with good water content to break their drought too.

Nikon Df| Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G| Delkin Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

 

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