Summertime Nature in New Jersey: Sourland Mountain Preserve.
Late Summer Yellow Wildflowers at the Sourland Mountain Preserve in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3s camera and 80-400 mm VR II lens (ISO 400, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro, Focus Magic and Photoshop CC 2104.
Hummingbird Clearwing Moth on a Thistle Bloom. Image taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 300 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/8, 1/250 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro, Focus Magic, and Photoshop CC.
This one does appear to be a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth (Hemaris thysbe) based on 1) the lack of any banding on the lateral side of the thorax; 2) thysbe always has yellowish or pale colored legs.
Backyard Astronomy in New Jersey. Partial Solar Eclipse.
Happy Eclipse Day! Some home renovation issues kept me in New Jersey for the eclipse. I set up a Nikon D810a camera with 45 mm f/2.8 lens and a 20 stop neutral density filter to take images every 4 minutes from just before the eclipse started. Unfortunately, clouds moved in just before the maximum (~78% coverage). The sun and moon reappeared shortly thereafter. The following image is a composite over the 160 minute period of the eclipse. The eclipse also reduced the amount of electricity produced by my solar panels. The two graphs show the hourly production of electricity for the day before the eclipse and during the eclipse. You can see a significant drop when the moon was blocking the sun. My brother Hans was in Tennessee with his family to observe the total eclipse. He sent me an image that he took with a Nikon D3 camera and a 200-400 mm f/4 lens and TC-E II 2.0 teleconverter at totality.
I stopped at the Arthur Morgan school near Burnsville, North Carolina to pick up three friends that spent eight weeks attending the the 2017 Arete project. We traveled north on the Blue Ridge Parkway on the way back to New Jersey.
Individual images from the slideshow can be viewed here.