Wednesday (18-October-2017) — New Jersey

Backyard Autumn Nature in New Jersey

In addition to the wildflowers, I also planted some seeds for Water Bottle gourds (also known as Calabash, Opo, or in Burma Boo Thee. It took nearly a month for the seeds to germinate inside. As such they didn’t get transplanted outdoors as soon as I would have liked. The plants started slow, but the electric fence kept the deer away. Finally, the vines started growing much faster and trying to climb as high as possible. At this point they produced some very big leaves. The first white flowers didn’t produce any fruit. The flowers opened at night, and closed once it got hot the next day. Finally, some of the flowers did develop some green gourds. When they got to be about the size of zucchini, the fruit turned brown and rotted. Finally, I did get a few that didn’t rot. They are not as long as the 40 inch long ones that my parents grew in Florida last year. The vines are still producing white flowers every night, but it is much too late in the season to expect anything larger. Once I turned off the electric fence, the deer came in and started eating the vines. Next year, I will try to germinate the seeds at least a month earlier, and make sure they get transplanted to a warm spot with lots of sunlight.

Fruit from a Water Bottle gourd. Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Leica T camera and 11-23 mm zoom lens (ISO 800, 23 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec). (David J Mathre)
Fruit from a Water Bottle gourd. Also known as Calabash, Opo, and in Burma Boo Thee. Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Leica T camera and 11-23 mm zoom lens (ISO 800, 23 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec). (David J Mathre)


One-Year Ago (18-October-2016) — New Jersey

Travel Souvenirs and Selfie

I saw this sand painting while visiting the temples in Bagan, Burma (Myanmar).  I am not often tempted to purchase souvenirs, but the birds on the tree reminded me of a Navajo “Tree of Life” wool rug. We were only part way through the Spring 2016 Semester at Sea voyage when I purchased the sand painting and I wasn’t sure it would make the trip without being damaged . Two months later when I finally got home, the painting  was still in good condition.  I had it framed  locally using non-reflective glass, and it is now next to the Navajo “Tree of Life” wool rug.

Birds on a tree. Sand painting from Burma. Image taken with a Fuji X-T1 camera and 16-55 mm f2.8 lens (ISO 200, 55 mm, f/2.8, 1/13 sec) (David J Mathre)
Birds on a tree. Sand painting from Burma. Image taken with a Fuji X-T1 camera and 16-55 mm f2.8 lens (ISO 200, 55 mm, f/2.8, 1/13 sec) (David J Mathre)
Troll and "Tree of Life". Composite of 72 stacked images using Helicon Focus. Images taken with a Nikon D800 and 200 mm f/2 VR lens (ISO 100, 200 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec) with 3 SB700/800/900 flashes. (David J Mathre)
Troll and “Tree of Life”. Composite of 72 stacked images using Helicon Focus. Images taken with a Nikon D800 and 200 mm f/2 VR lens (ISO 100, 200 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec) with 3 SB700/800/900 flashes. (David J Mathre)

Every Year or so, the Beard Falls Off

Self image without the beard. Image taken with a Fuji X-T1 camera and 16-55 mm f2.8 lens (ISO 200, 55 mm, f/8, 2.3 sec). (David J Mathre)
Self image without the beard. Image taken with a Fuji X-T1 camera and 16-55 mm f2.8 lens (ISO 200, 55 mm, f/8, 2.3 sec). (David J Mathre)