Along Swanson Creek

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…

 

 

 

 

 

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Moonset Reflected

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…

 

California Thrasher II

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Back in March while birding and photographing flowers in Santa Cruz, CA I was thrilled to hear and see a California Thrasher for a minute…long enough to get a few images, before I spooked it trying to get a little bit closer to it.  You can see that post here.

I’ve been wishing to see one again, and be closer to it. Well, on Sunday I got my wish while birding down in the southern end of Santa Clara Valley.

California Thrasher

He was singing his little heart out!

California Thrasher

He sang for 10 minutes.  Then he stopped, gave himself a real good shake…

California Thrasher

…took a breath, and began singing again!

California Thrasher

Two little Bushtits flew into the bush beside him and began talking to him,

Bushtits

so he turned around to sing to them.

California Thrasher

There were a few more notes sung by the Bushtits to the Thrasher then they flew off. It happened so fast I was only able to get 3 shots of the Bushtits.  The image isn’t great. My lens kept wanting to focus on the branches in front of the bird rather than the little bird.

Then the Thrasher flew north. What a treat that was to hear him singing for so long.  It was the highlight of my morning.

The California Thrasher is found in California and Baja California.

I found some  California Thrasher Song sound files over on allaboutbirds.com that you can listen to here.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2015

More to come…

 

Gray Flycatcher

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I went birding on both Saturday and Sunday this past week-end hoping to find two birds I’d never seen or photographed before. I got lucky with really good looks on the first bird on my list: The Gray Flycatcher.  A “lifer” for me!

Gray Flycatcher

There were other birders there looking for the same bird which made the experience more fun and exciting. It also helped to have several pairs of eyes, and ears on the lookout.

Gray flycatcher

It’s migrating south, and this one is further west than it’s regular migration route.

Gray Flycatcher

He was pretty far away from me, and in the shadows of the trees so I boosted my ISO to keep up my shutter speed to prevent blurring, and these images are cropped.

Sunday I went back to look for the second bird on my list, but I was not successful.  I’ll have another go this week-end if I hear it’s still in the area.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Professional Digital Film| Tripod|

Note to self- take the bug spray! I got eaten alive by mosquitoes!

More to come…

 

Thursday Doors 18/52 Historic Alviso Revisited

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I went out to Alviso, CA this past week to look for a Little Stint which is a shorebird, and very rare to this area.  I didn’t see the Little Stint unfortunately, but  I did see a neat rusty, and sagging door at the old Bayside Canning Company. This Canning Company has been closed since 1936.  I blogged a little about the Canning Co. & town here.

Rusty Door- Photography

The city is letting the buildings decay, and they are currently being used by the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory. 

The Little Stint has been hanging around the Western Sandpipers, and I did see some that were close to me. Sadly the Little Stint wasn’t hanging out with this group.

Western Sandpipers- Photography

There are deck walkways that take you right across the top of the marsh and you leave

the deck via a  facade like doorway to the levy’s that surround the ponds. You can walk around these or just gaze at the view.   Back in September 2009 I happened to be there early in the evening for Golden Hour; it was gorgeous.

Alviso Golden Hour Fall 2009

Top two images- Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2015

Bottom Image- Nikon D90| Nikkor 70-300mm VR| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2015

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, or add your own.

More to come…

 

 

 

What’s Blooming?

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

White Yarrow- from a quick hike Sunday morning. I went early while the wind was calm. I was the only person on the trail both going and coming. It was wonderful having the hills to myself for just a little while.

White Yarrow Image

Nikon Df| Nikkor 28-105mm + Canon 500D Close-Up lens| Delkin Digital Film

More to come…

 

 

Happy May Day!

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I don’t have a May lily to share today, but I do have a sunny Narrow-leaf Mule’s ear. I made this image up in the mountains above Santa Clara Valley last Sunday evening.

Lensbaby w/soft focus optic- Flower

I hope you’re all having a wonderful May Day, and week-end.

Nikon Df| LensBaby Composer Pro w/soft focus optic + 8mm macro converter| Delkin Digital Film| Hand-held

More to come…