Friday (12-January-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Winter Nature in New Jersey: A Newt.

The outdoor temperatures rose to the mid 60’s and it rained most of the day. I went outside and noticed a tiny newt on my doorstep. Only a couple of days ago there was snow on the ground. At first I wondered if it was alive, but saw it move. The arms and legs are very small. I got a small tripod and started taking pictures with a macro lens and flash. I was fortunate that it didn’t move long enough to take a series of images that could be processed with focus stacking software (Helicon Focus).

Tiny Newt on my Doorstep. Winter Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens (ISO 200, 105 mm, f/8, 1/60 sec). (David J Mathre)
Tiny Newt on my Doorstep. Winter Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens (ISO 200, 105 mm, f/8, 1/60 sec). (David J Mathre)
Tiny Newt on my Doorstep. Winter Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Composite of seven focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens (ISO 200, 105 mm, f/16, 1/60 sec). Images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus (method B, radius 8, smoothing 4). (David J Mathre)
Tiny Newt on my Doorstep. Winter Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Composite of seven focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens (ISO 200, 105 mm, f/16, 1/60 sec). Images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus (method B, radius 8, smoothing 4). (David J Mathre)


Thursday (14-December-2017) — New Jersey

Late Fall Indoor Nature in New Jersey: Green Stink Bug

Hitchhiker that came in on a batch of “organic” Bok Choy. I guess it’s extra protein. I’ve never seen a green version of a Stink-Bug before.

Green Stink Bug. Late fall indoor nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens (David J Mathre)
Green Stink Bug. Late fall indoor nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens (David J Mathre)


Nine-Years Ago (29-November-2008) — New Jersey

Undocumented Domestic Help: “The Caretaker”

One of the many trolls that take care of my house. I never know where I will find him, typically avoiding doing any work. You can find more of his friends — all members of the Trolls without Borders union at the Henning site in Norway.

The Caretaker, Henning Hand Carved Norwegian Troll. Image taken with a Nikon D3 and 200 mm f/4 macro (ISO 200, f/11, 1/60 sec, flash). (David J Mathre)
The Caretaker, Henning Hand Carved Norwegian Troll. Image taken with a Nikon D3 camera and 200 mm f/4 macro lens (ISO 200, f/11, 1/60 sec, flash).

Sunday (26-November-2017) — New Jersey

Backyard Archaeology in New Jersey: Silver Spoon

I was out in the backyard using a rototiller to prepare a new section for the expanding wildflower meadow. The land had been a farm years ago, but this section had become overgrown with brush. The brush was cleared last year, and this summer the section was covered with a black tarp to solarize the soil (kill the weeds, especially the invasive “mile-a-minute” vine). The rototiller found lots of rocks, and roots from the brush. At one point, I noticed something silver being thrown back by rototiller. It turned out to be a spoon. The rototiller blades did a bit of damage to the spoon. I brought it inside, and washed it off. The only identification of the spoon was an imprint on the back of the handle “Oneida Silversmiths”. After doing some research online, I think I identified the design of the spool as Oneida silverplate “Clairhill-Fairhill (1978). One site had it on sale for less than eight dollars. So, not an antique 🙁 . The house was built around that time, but how the spoon got 200 feet behind the house is a mystery.

Oneida Silversmiths Spoon. Backyard Archaeology in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens (ISO 200, 105 mm, f/16, 1/3 sec) (David J Mathre)
Oneida Silversmiths Spoon. Backyard Archaeology in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens (ISO 200, 105 mm, f/16, 1/3 sec) (David J Mathre)
Oneida Silversmiths Spoon. Backyard Archaeology in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens (ISO 200, 105 mm, f/16, 1/3 sec) (David J Mathre)
Oneida Silversmiths Spoon. Backyard Archaeology in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens (ISO 200, 105 mm, f/16, 1/3 sec) (David J Mathre)