I’ve now been retired from Merck for seven years. I worked at Merck in Rahway, New Jersey; Boulder, Colorado; and West Point, Pennsylvania for over 27 years. In the seven years since retiring I have visited six continents, 43 different countries (several more than once) and 44 states. I have been at sea for over nine months (four Semester at Sea Spring Enrichment Voyages; three Semester at Sea Semester Voyages (Spring, Summer, Fall); and two Hurtigruten voyages (one in Norway, and one to Antarctica). I returned to Argentina and Chile for a photography trip with Thom Hogan, and did two Iceland photography safari’s (one summer, one winter) with Mike Hagen. More recently, I attended photography workshops with Steve Simon in Cuba, Japan, and Portugal. Last summer, I visited Germany with my Brother and Parents. During this time I have taken over 1.6MM images. Not all of the images have made it into my posts yet… When at home, I’ve completed several renovation projects including a new roof, solar panels and a Geothermal HVAC system (replacing an oil-fired furnace and water heater, and an electric central AC system). With the solar panels and elimination of the oil furnace I am essentially carbon neutral since the Geothermal system requires less energy to heat and cool the house. I’ve also planted several wildflower meadows in the yard that are attracting birds, bees, and butterflies. I did have two down periods due to Lyme disease which slowed me down the end of 2016 and 2017. Now trying to decide on my next trip.
I decided to take some cameras out that I haven’t been using much. Looking at the images I can see I need to spend more time using and practicing with theses cameras. Some of the images are not tack sharp. I can’t just use the cameras in auto mode, need to slow down and make sure I have the settings right. The large sunflowers next to the house were up to the roof edge, but got so heavy they bent over. The field of sunflowers in the back wildflower meadow are attracting lots of bees and butterflies.
Leica T camera and 60 mm f/2.8 lens. Click on the above image to access the individual images in my Photoshelter Gallery.
Leica TL2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens. Click on the above image to access the individual images in my Photoshelter Gallery.
Daily Electric Energy Used (49.7 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (41.1 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Cloudy most of the day so solar energy production was down 32 kWh. A bit cooler so the Geothermal HVAC system didn’t have to work as hard so the overall energy used was down nearly 20 kWh, for a net deficit of 8.6 kWh. The monthly stats for July are electric energy used: 1841 kWh, solar energy generated: 2075 kWh, for a monthly electric energy surplus of 234 kWh.
It’s hot outside so only a short walkabout with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens. Lots of flowers. The sunflowers look amazing. Butterflies including Monarch, Tiger Swallowtail, Silver-spotted Skipper, Common Buckeye, Painted Lady, and Peck’s Skipper (?). Only one Snowberry Clearwing Moth.
Sunflowers. Click on the above image to access the individual slideshow images.
Butterflies. Click on the above image to access the individual slideshow images.
Daily Electric Energy Used (68.8 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (73.1 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. The temperatures have been going up outside, resulting in more energy (~29 kWh) needed for the Geothermal HVAC system to keep the house cool. Also, ran a load of laundry (3.3 kWh). Still a small daily surplus of 4.3 kWh.
Visited the Sheep Shearer for my annual haircut. I’ve been going to the same barbershop in Highland Park for over 30 years.
Daily Electric Energy Used (63.6 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (72.2 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. The temperatures have been going up outside, resulting in more energy needed to power the Geothermal HVAC system to keep the house cool. Daily surplus of 8.6 kWh.
Summertime Nature in Colorado. Arapaho National Wildlife Preserve.
While visiting Arapaho National Wildlife Preserve in central Colorado, I heard what I thought was a hummingbird. But when I finally saw it discovered that it was a very large White-lined Sphinx Moth (Hyles lineata). It was feeding on the Purple Nettle Flowers. It never landed, and kept flying while feeding, and thus the hummingbird sound of rapidly flapping wings. I’ve been told that the large catepillars that the Sphinx Moth come from are voratious eaters that farmers hate.