Wild Wednesday 20/52 Deep Greens and Blues are the Colors I Choose

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

On Saturday I went birding locally in the morning hoping to see a Lazuli Bunting. They’re only here in the Spring and I heard they were spotted in a place I’d seen one four years ago.  It was a stellar morning of birding! Not only did I get a brief look at the Lazuli Bunting, but I also saw lots of Violet-green Swallows. 🙂

Both birds have amazing colors.

Lazuli Bunting Male-  He’s song bird.

Lazuli Bunting

Violet-green Swallow Male

Violet-green Swallow

…and I got the “look” from a White-tailed Kite while she was hunting. You know how much I like them. My favorite of the Birds of Prey.  I like to think she was wishing me a Happy Birthday. 🙂

White-tailed Kite

I had a birdy long week-end that included some hiking/walking . Saturday I hiked just a smidge over a mile half of it was uphill and the beginning was steep.  Monday I hiked a bit over 2 miles, and Tuesday afternoon I hiked just over 4 miles.  He-Man and I hiked a trail we hadn’t hiked in a couple of years. It was good to get out and really stretch our legs.  Mind you, I feel so out of shape since having the flu and not doing much hiking since. I’m glad I made the loop up and down! I had doubts about being able to make it up to the second trail-head to make the loop. A couple of spots are steep. On two of the hikes I had some elevation gain which I like.  I like uphill for the first leg…more payoff for the exertion, and the reward is the downhill on the way back.  However, what I find is that there is uphill on both ends! I’m usually tired by the time I reach the upper elevation, and it’s work to get up those uphills on the way back.  I’m always so thankful I completed the hike, and if I carried my Garmin tracker seeing the stats always makes those uphills on the way back more rewarding.  I was tired and needed some extra Yoga stretches to ward off being really sore Wednesday, but I kept thinking “maybe I’ll get my groove back, and hike a couple times a week again.”

One can hope! 🙂

I hope you all are having a good week!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| San Disk Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…





Violet-Green Swallow Pen & Wash

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I don’t normally post twice in a day, but as it’s St. Patrick’s Day I thought I’d post something Green in honor of it.

Watercolor Line and Wash Violet-Green Swallow

I painted this with Turner Artists Watercolor paints, on Canson 140 lb Cold Press Fine

Grain paper.  I used my 12 round Mimik Kolinsky, #8 round Robert Simmons Sapphire, and #6 rd Winson & Newton Kolinsky Sable brushes, and Pigma Micron 03, 05, and 01 pens.

My reference image is one of my own which I made in the Spring of 2014. You can see the reference image here.

I hope you all have a great St. Paddy’s Day!

Panasonic Lumix FZ200| Lexar Professional Digital Film| Hand-held in natural light| PS CC 2015

More to come…

Birding with the Nikon Df

Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

As I mentioned the other day I’m renting the Nikon Df for a week. I wanted to try the new lighter, smaller Full Frame camera while hiking, shooting landscapes, and night/low light photography.  Just to see how it handled I took it out birding yesterday morning. I was pleasantly surprised with how well it did.

This camera isn’t thought of as a Sports or Action camera, but I think it can handle itself with good timing, and technique in these venues.

Colors are truer with this camera. See how turquoise the Male Lazuli Bunting looks in the images below. This is how he really looks.

Lazuli Bunting-MaleCompare this top image to one I took of the Lazuli Bunting Male with my Nikon D700.

Lazuli Bunting-1st yr MaleThe sensor isn’t picking up the greens as well in the D700.

Here’s an image I captured of the Male Lazuli Bunting taking off from the snag using the Nikon Df.

The Dart Take off!Here’s one of a Violet-green Swallow Female taking off from its perch. She was fun to watch. She’s building a nest nearby this snag. She would fly around and around before landing on this perch or flying to the nest. She even buzzed just above my head a few times! I didn’t get too close, and tried to be still so not to upset her.

Violet-green Swallow-FemaleSwallows are so fast that I haven’t been able to capture one in flight. This take off shot really excited me. It’s a first for me.

The little House Wren made an appearance too.  Here it is singing its morning song.

House WrenDay 1 with the Nikon Df- I’m finding the camera responsive and fast enough. I’m the one that is slow. My index finger can’t find the shutter button without looking for it. The button is not where my finger is used to going, and the front wheel rotates in a completely different direction than what I’m used to as well so, I’m slower finding it and turning it, and of course I’m turning it in the wrong direction. Right now I have to take my eye off the viewfinder to find the dials I used the most, and it takes two hands to change the ISO dial. I wonder if one can do that one handed while looking through the viewfinder after having the camera for awhile?

A bigger issue for me is; I think my Auto-focus motor is going out in my 300mm f4 lens. For several months now while using it the Auto-Focus will just stop working. It’s done it on 3 cameras, and it’s getting harder to get to it to work doing the usual fixes- What usually works is turning off the camera and reseating the lens, but that isn’t always working now, and didn’t work at all yesterday.  I switched off Auto-Focus and shot in full manual. It’s tough to shoot Birds manually focusing. I missed a lot of shots!

I bought this lens used just about a year ago. I don’t know how old it is, but I have an idea based on the serial number. It’s probably close to 10 yrs old. If the previous owner used this lens as often as I do then it’s not surprising to me to have the Focus motor go out on the lens.

I packed up the lens this morning and shipped it to Nikon Service for repair.  I’m hoping it’s not too terribly expensive to repair. I would love to have it back in top shape in plenty of time for Fall/Winter birding.

I’ll leave you today with a Violet-green Swallow-Male saying, “I’m outta here!” 🙂 I believe he’s the mate to the female pictured above.

Violet-green Swallow-Male

More to come!

Nikon Df| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4| Induro Tripod