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Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

It was rainy last week which kept #1 Grandson and myself indoors. Some of the things I’m trying to teach him are coloring, writing, and painting.  One rainy morning I set up his paints, paper, brushes, water bowl, and crayons. While he was giving his crayons a bath, and finger painting I reached for a piece of his Artist Loft watercolor paper then using my brushes dipped into his Artist Loft’s watercolor palette to paint a loose rendition of the Vermilion Flycatcher I had photographed the previous week-end.

Vermilion Flycatcher in Watercolor

 

A few days later I tried to paint it with a bit more structure and detail using my Turner Watercolor paints, and Arches 140lb cold pressed watercolor paper.

Vermilion Flycatcher Male in Watercolor

I like the loose painting best even though the pigment isn’t as rich and the paper hasn’t much tooth.

The Reference Photo-

Vermilion Flycatcher-Male

The following evening instead of watching TV or reading I went in a different direction and painted Poppies.

Poppies in Watercolor

I used my Turner Watercolor Paints, and Arches Watercolor 140lb cold pressed paper for

this painting.  I’ve been doing poppies on and off for a few months and I like this one the best so far.  I have a LONG way to go before I’m anything other than mediocre as a painter, but I’m having fun learning and trying.

Panasonic Lumix FZ200| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2015|

More to come…

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A few weeks ago I had a first time visitor to the little feeder which turned into a bird bath after the rainy week. I was thrilled to see the Western Bluebird in my yard!

Well, she like the temperature, and atmosphere so she decided to stay and have a bath. Luckily my camera was nearby.

Eyeing up the tub, and making sure the coast is clear overhead…

Bluebird Female

At her toilette

Western Bluebird Female bathing

“Do you mind! I’m bathing here!” That look really got me thinking…”man I’m a voyeur!” :)

Do you mind I'm bathing here!

All clean! She had a good shake and flew away after this image was taken. I hope she comes back!

Western Bluebird

I took these images through the window so they’re a bit soft. I used the dehaze feature to help that a bit. It’s a pretty neat feature!

 

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 300mm f4| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2015

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Warning!: Some may find these images too graphic!

While birding a couple of weeks ago in the Sacramento Valley we spotted this Red-tail Hawk having lunch on a levy about 25-30ft away from us.  It spotted us too.  It didn’t like the way we kept staring while it was trying to eat so…
Red tail Hawk with meal

…it picked up its meal…

Red-tailed Hawk with Prey in Flight

…and flew to a tree stump that offered a bit more privacy.

Red tail with prey on tree stump

We watched it eat for a couple of minutes then slowly drove away leaving it to enjoy its meal.

The second image with the Red-tail in flight has a bit of motion blur. I was hand-holding the lens and not used to its weight and think it was me being a wobbly rather than a slight pan.  The eye is pretty sharp, and the blur gives it a sense of movement I like enough to save, and share it.

I was also racked out to 500mm and I didn’t frame up the shot giving the bird enough room to fly out of the frame, so I extended the canvas a bit then added in some of the background to give the bird some room to fly out of the frame, and fix the composition.  There’s a learning curve to  all new lenses; getting used to the weight, and bulkiness -it’s a chubby lens, and framing with it will be what I strive to master in the coming years.

I liked the lens so much I bought one right after I returned the rental lens.

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 200-500mm VR (rental lens)| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2015

More to come…

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

While birding last Saturday I saw this door, and cottage and had to stop

to take a photo.  I really like the shape of this door, and the color. Next to red doors, blue is one of my all time favorite colors for doors.

Nº 418 Thursday Doors

I love this roof line and 3 gables.

Nº 418 Thursday Doors

This is part of Norm 2.0’s Thursday Door’s. Click here to see all the doors posted this week.

Nikon Df| Nikkor 28-105mm| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| PS CC 2015

More to come…

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

It’s Theme week (Curve(s) )on Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness2.

It rained a lot during the week which kept me indoors, and my imagination and “sight” were MIA this past week when looking for curves everywhere I did go, and around the house. So, I went back to Death Valley National Park via my archives to find curves.

Monochrome Madness 2 43 of 52 Curves

I love the curves, and contours of the Sand Dunes so, I selected an image I made in 2011 for my entry to Monochrome Madness 2 this week.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 17-35@35mm| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2016 & On1 Photo 10

Visit Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness2 to see this week’s entries here. Note- Leanne resides in Australia so post will be available on Wednesday’s in the U.S.

More to come…

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I met my friend Dali yesterday morning to do some local birding, but he said he’d read in a bird forum before leaving his house that there was a Vermilion Flycatcher in the area where we were last week-end birding in Sacramento Valley.

“Did I want to go look for that bird?” He asked.

“Oh yeah!” Was my reply. I had one errand to do in the opposite direction before I could leave for the 2.5 hour drive north.
I finished up my errand in record time. Thankfully there is very little traffic early Saturday mornings, then I met Dali again to head north to look for the Vermilion Flycatcher.

Vermilion Flycatcher-Male

We arrived at the spot that the bird had been seen hanging out and found a half dozen birders there observing the bird. We spent 30 minutes observing and photographing it before it flew off into a field and we lost sight of it.

Isn’t he beautiful! My Audubon Bird Field Guide says this bird’s “breeding range is Southeastern California east to western Texas and south to the tropics. Winters in southern part of breeding rage, but wanders as far east as Gulf Coast.”

It’s a resident of Southeast California, southwest Arizona, southern Texas, and Mexico. It Winters along the Gulf of Mexico’s coast.

 

 

Vermillion Flycatcher

We’re seeing this Vermilion Flycatcher in Sacramento Valley, California which is well to the north and west of its normal habitat! What a gift!!

This bird is a “lifer” for me! The definition of a “lifer” is, ” A bird species when it is first seen and positively identified by an individual birder. Generally birds must be observed in the wild, and in appropriate conditions to be added to one’s life list. Dead or captive birds are not usually counted as a “lifer”.

Vermilion Flycatcher-Male

“The bright colors of the male have earned it the Mexican name brasita de fuego, “little coal of fire.” ~ Audubon Bird Guide app for ios.   I love that name don’t you?

I also saw a Bald Eagle, and a Juvenile Bald Eagle yesterday. It was a stellar day for birding!

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 200-500mm E ED VR| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2015

More to come…

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This little bird lives in my neighbors Oleander bush, and I rarely see it. I tried photographing it last year when it flew up to the fence, but the shots were through a window, and I really wanted an image without a window between us.

Hermit Thrush I think

A few days ago while #1 Grandson was in the backyard playing and I was sitting in the middle of the lawn hoping the Chick-a-Dee would stop making such a fuss about us being out there and fly down to the feeder so I could take its picture the Hermit Thrush flew up to the top of the fence to see what all the fuss was about.

What luck! I got two frames of it before it jumped down into the safety of the Oleander.

I thought it was Fox Sparrow, but now that I have decent image to compare with the birds in my bird books I now think this little bird is a Hermit Thrush.

If I’m wrong please let me know!

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 200-500mm | Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2015

More to come…

 

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