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Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I didn’t get out too much this past week-end unfortunately,  my original plan to shoot the night sky Saturday fell apart. So I had a Plan B, but that fell apart too. (sigh) Plan A got cancelled due to all the smoke in the air from the Detwiler Fire burning near and around Mariposa, and Yosemite NP.  As I write this 76,000 acres have burned.  Evacuation orders have been lifted in some areas, but Firefighters are saying it may take up to two more weeks for the fire to be fully extinguished.  It’s so sad!

Plan B was scuttled when a friend had to change plans, and I didn’t want to be alone so I stayed home and painted a bit.

Before all that happened my Archive Drive crashed Thursday and Saturday afternoon we were still recovering images and documents from our back-up drive, and cloud service. I can’t tell you how scary that is to think thousands of images made over the course of many years may be lost!  I’ve got them all back, but my external drive is full no doubt due to the huge 36mp files of the D810 so, we bought a new external drive which should be here this week. Then I’ll have my stuff backed up two places, have room to grow, and feel much, much better!

Saturday evening I pulled out an old book I have by Ferdinand Petrie, called Drawing Landscapes in Pencil and stayed up late to practice some drawing then I added some watercolor to it.  Wanna see? If you follow me on Instagram you’ve already seen this. 🙂

I had some new watercolor paper to try too. It’s by Legion papers called Stonehenge Aqua. I like it. There’s not much blooming or bleeding, and the colors look wonderful on it to me.  It’s got some tooth, but not as much as Arches cold press paper. I prefer the smoother hot press papers, so this paper just might be the perfect balance for me.

Ranch Watercolor

Sunday He-Man and I rose early to get on the trail early; we were extending our route and wanted to beat the heat. It was going to be in 90’s again Sunday. We were on the trail just before 7am.  There were quite a few cars already parked near the trail-head when we arrived.  A lot of others had the same idea to beat the heat and get an early start.  We parked at the bottom of the mountain, and planned to  hike up into Fremont Older an Open Space Preserve.

There are a few options to get up there; the most popular routes are:  take the road all the way up to stage 3 of the Parker Ranch Trail system and hike the rest the way up via the trail, or do what we did and walk along the road to Stage 1 of the trail, then you come out on the road again for a bit then catch Stage 2 which is the toughest bit with some switchbacks at an 8% grade.  I was huffin’ and puffin’ going up those. At the top of those you meet Stage 3 of the trail.  There are two sets of switchbacks on this part of the trail, but they aren’t nearly as steep as Stage 2’s.

When we crossed into Fremont Older Open Space Preserve we hiked up to the top of the Toyon Trail then turned around to head back. We altered our route on the way back by bypassing the Stage 2 part and chose a different section of the trail that meanders through an Oak grove, and you climb another steep hill to meet the road. We walked down the road to Stage 1 of the trail and  caught the road back to the car. Phew! Hope that makes sense! Here’s a screen shot of my route from my Garmin Edge 500.

Morning Hike Route Saratoga

He-Man’s not as fast as he was going downhill since his Patella Tendon ruptured nearly 3 yrs ago so, if my time looks slow…it is. When I’m heading down at my normal pace I get way ahead of him so, I turn around a go back until I see him. I get some extra steps that way too. 🙂

There was a lot of fog and, we’re getting some smoke from the fire up here. Here’s one image from the trail. I took this with my iPhone. I went gear light today.

View North from the trail

The faint peak in the fog and smoke on the right might be Mt. Diablo at  (3,889 feet (1,185 m)) high.  The highest hilltop on the left is Hunter’s Point in Fremont Older Open Space Preserve.

We hiked 4.34 miles,  gained 827 ft in elevation, and were back in the car headed home by 8:55am! Not too bad.

We spent the afternoon looking at Loveseats, and bought two. Our current two are really beat up and have needed replacing for over a year, but with a 4 yr old at home we put it off for as long as we could stand it.  Now we’re excited for the new ones to arrive!

That was my week-end. I hope you all had a lovely week-end and got to have a bit of fun, and relax so you’re ready for the week ahead.  I hope it’s a great week for us all!

iPhone 7 Plus| PS CC 2017

more to come…

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Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Le Danseur/Ballerino

Lower Manhattan, NYC

Nikon Df| Nikkor 28-105mm| Delkin Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

 

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Here are some of the images I made during October.

Welcome Friends- I really like the Calligraphy phrases on the Pumpkins.

Halloween Decorations

the Sun cresting the mountains over Mono Lake’s marshland and Tufas.

Daybreak over Mono Lake on a Fall Morning

a creek in the Eastern Sierras

Fall Color in the Eastern Sierras

an Amber bead on the trunk of my Flowering Plum tree

Amber Bead

and some images from around the neighborhood last night-

99% Spirit Local

THe Graveyard

The Greeters

Zoombie

Witch

and Me- a rare iPhone Selfie

IMG_3620

Nikon Df| CS6 and iphone 5

More to come…

Copyright © 2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Feeder is busy again with House Finches. The females look like they’re molting, but the males are dazzling with their vibrant red heads.

House Finch

The Black-capped Chick-a-dee makes daily appearances too, but I’ve not got a decent image of it so far this season.

The Mockingbird has a mate and they’ve been busy bullying anything they can.  I caught one with a nice, fat bee last week. Since it didn’t eat it straight-away I’m guessing it went back to the nest with this meal.

Snack time!

A new visitor to my yard this year is a Black Phoebe. Isn’t he handsome?

Black Phoebe  Adult

The female Anna’s Hummingbird prefers the Lantana to the feeder this year so I try to catch her there when I’m out back. She’s lovely when the sun hits her back.

Anna's Hummingbird Female

Here’s a macro image I created sometime ago that never made it to my Project 52. I used to set up this engine and a several cars around the Christmas Tree when my kids were little. It’s been buried in the garage for years, but I rediscovered it while cleaning out the garage. It’s a Bachmann Union Pacific Diesel Engine. Now that we have a little one (#1 Grandson) I’ll have to start setting it up again.

P52 18 of 52 Bachmann Union Pacific Diesel Locomotive Engine

Speaking of the garage, that reminds me it’s been sometime since I talked about our remodel.  It’s coming along very well. They’re right on schedule.

April 29th: Ground-breaking day. It was fun. We had a little digger in the front yard digging out the place for the foundation. #1 Grandson loved that! This is how the front of the house looked before the digger arrived-the foundation’s been planned out-

Ground Breaking Day_4620

The digger

It's official. We have Ground-breaking!

It’s official. We have Ground-breaking!

A lot has happened between then and early June- The foundation was poured, the framing went up, and June 2nd this is how the house looked at the end of the day.

Adding a bedroom, and a small sitting/office area in the Master Bedroom.

Adding a bedroom, and a small sitting/office area in the Master Bedroom.

Next week our new front door, and front windows will be installed, the plywood for the roof will be put on, and the following week they plan on breaking through the walls to the house so we need to move to other rooms while the work is being done.

There’s a lot of changes in the Master Bedroom, and bathroom that I’ll share in an upcoming post.

I’m feeling better. I hiked up the steep hill yesterday. It was tough! Probably more than I should have done since I’m still coughing and having sinus issues. What was I thinking? 🙂 Other than that it’s been a quite week-end.

I hope you all are having a great week-end!

Nikon Df| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4| Lensbaby Composer Pro| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| Hand-held

More to come…

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