Wild Weds. 6/52 Fungi

© 2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

While hiking to stretch my legs I spied two different types of Wild Mushrooms.

I have no idea what their names are. Since I have no knowledge of which ones are harmless ~vs~ those that are deadly I have a healthy respect fear of them in the wild.

Aside from photographing them that is.  They make wonderful subjects for macro/close up imagery.

I think these are in the Shelf Mushroom family. I liked the big one on top that looks like a fan.  The stripes had a greenish/gray hue that I liked.  I spied them growing on a fallen log just off trail.

Shelf Mushrooms

These  Brown ones below were growing under Valley Oaks among the fallen leaves and twigs.  I laid down on my stomach to see if I could spy any Fairy Folk, but they must have known I would do that and scattered among the leaves and debris. Sadly, I didn’t spy one. Not one! 😦

Wild Brown Mushrooms

I was hiking with a new lens.  I’ve longed for a replacement lens for my very old 28-105mm Nikkor lens.  Nikon replaced the 28-105mm with an AF-S 24-120mm f/4 VR lens in 2003. That version doesn’t get good reviews . I didn’t upgrade to that one since my old 28-105mm was better.

In 2010 Nikon improved the  Af-S 24-120mm f/4 VR adding VR II, better lens coatings, and some other things so it’s sharper at the wide end, and the long end: that version is still sold new today.  It’s well liked, at least a lot better than the first version was.  It’s the lens I replaced my 28-105mm with.  I’ve had it now about a month, and I like it. I’ve wanted a lens a bit wider, and longer for a long time for a walk-around/hiking lens.  My lens as you can imagine is old. Nikon hasn’t supported it for a long time now so should it break finding parts is going to be really hard, and finding somewhere to fix it might prove just as hard.  Replacing it has been on my mind for several years.

Just after the Holidays Nikon  had a sale on their Refurbished lenses and the AF-S 24-120mm f/4 G ED VR II was on the list.  The price was right…  so, after stalling and/or balking on the purchase for several years I finally pushed the “buy” button.

Early impressions are good.  I think I’m going to be able to live with this lens for many years.  At least as many as I have the old 28-105mm lens.

Of course cameras improve with every new version released which can make the lenses of yesterday and today redundant in resolving power.  Which is what I faced with my 28-105mm. It isn’t as sharp on my Df as it was my D700. When I upgraded the D700 to the D810 which has 36 mega pixels ~vs~ 12mp I was afraid my old lenses wouldn’t resolve on it well.   Reviews since have proven that. 🙂 I haven’t even tried my old 28-105mm on it since it’s not quite as sharp on the Df at 16.2 MP.  I’m keeping it to use on my Df though. Just a little added sharpening and contrast is all it needs on that camera.  I LOVE my Df. I think I should have just bought another one of those, but that’s another post.

Too much gear talk?  I’m wild about gear. I could talk about it all day…well not all day, but for a good while! 🙂  Anyway, because I was testing out the lens at this stage I wasn’t carrying my Canon 500D Close-Up lens, or a macro lens. I wanted to see just how close I could focus with this lens, and find out how the images look.

They’re not bad. If I had carried my tripod they probably would be better, but since it was quick “stretch my legs” hike I didn’t carry it.

I am now looking forward Spring when I’ll be carrying my close-up lens with me everywhere to see how much closer I can get, and get really close. 🙂

I’m so excited for the possibilities this lens brings me when opportunities arise in the Spring, and using my LensBaby lenses, and Macro Lens.  It’s so hard for me to pick a favorite lens. I love every lens I own.  I don’t know how I would ever be able to pick just one! I’d need at least 3 to be truly happy.

What about you, could you live happily with just one lens? Do you use one lens 90-100% of the time? What lens would you choose if you could only have one?

Nikon D810| Nikkor 24-120mm| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…



Wordless Wednesday 31/52 Thistle

Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Nikon Df| Nikkor 28-105mm + Canon 500D Close Up Lens| PS CC 2017

more to come…

Wordless Wednesday 10/52 A Pink Spring

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Flowering Plum Tree Blossoms

Flowering Plum

Flowering Plum

Flowering Plum

Nikon Df| Nikkor 28-105mm| Canon 500D Close Up lens| Delkin Digital Film| PS CC 2017, Nik Suite, On1

More to come…


Walnut Butterball Cookies

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Linda over at fabulousfaresisters posted the recipe for these cookies earlier in the week, and I love this type of cookie so thought I’d try them.

Walnut Butterballs

Linda credited her Mom for the recipe found here, but I’m giving Linda the credit for nudging me to try them and for the recipe. I changed the recipe just a little by adding Confectioners sugar to the dough too.

I love that there are very few ingredients, and the cookies are not too sweet even with the extra sugar in the dough.

Walnut Butterball Cookies

1 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup confectioners sugar

1 tsp. Vanilla

2 cups flour

1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Extra Confectioner’s sugar for dusting the cookies after baking


Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, using a spoon, cream the butter and 3/4 cup of confectioners sugar. Then add the vanilla, flour, and walnuts to the buttercream mixture. Stir until well combined. It will be crumbly. That’s fine!

Next, shape into small balls. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. ( I lined mine with parchment paper.)

Bake 12 minutes or until bottoms are golden. Roll in confectioner’s sugar while still warm.

(I let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then rolled them in confectioner’s sugar then finished cooling them on a cooling rack)

Store in an airtight container for a week, or freeze.

FWIW: I used a wooden spoon to mix the dough. I always do. When I was young and learning to bake I heard it keeps the dough from getting tough. Is it true? I don’t know. I’ve used my electric mixer to make other cookie dough, and its paddle is metal and the dough hasn’t been tough.  However, I don’t over work the dough…so that’s probably the key. 🙂 Knowing when to stop mixing. That’s the key!

I’m giving most of this batch away to neighbors and friends. I think they’ll make a lovely little gift for Christmas.

I’ve eaten two already. They’re delicious!

Thank you Linda! ♥

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

More to come…



Summer is…

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



Nikon Df| Nikkor 105mm| Delkin Digital Film| PS CC 2015.5

More to come…


Monochrome Madness 2 52/52 Close Up

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This is the last post for Monochrome Madness 2 as well as the completion of my one year commitment to participate in it. It’s been a lot of fun, and at times challenging. I’ve learned a lot about what images work in Black and White better than others.

This week is also our Theme Week which is Close-up.  The last 3 annual Imaging Projects I’ve done I’ve completed the project with an image made with one of my Mascots, and I didn’t want to break the streak .

Here’s Woody wishing Monochrome Madness 2, and all its participants a “Happy 2nd Anniversary!”  Congratulations everyone for completing the year!

Monochrome Madness 2 52/52 Happy 2nd Anniversary!

Thank you Leanne for hosting this fun annual imaging project this past year. I appreciate all the work you do to make it happen!

To see all the images posted for this week’s MM2 challenge click here.

Nikon Df| Nikkor 105mm micro| Delkin Digital Film| Tripod| PS CC 2015 & On 1 Photo 10

More to come…




P52 51-52 Toadstools

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Nikon Df| 24-70mm| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| PS CC 2015

More to come…