Thursday (17-September-2020) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

I noticed several articles on the net about scientists testing the 3,200 megapixel camera for the Vera Rubin Observatory’s telescope by taking an image of a Romanesco broccoli. It didn’t look like the Broccoli that I am familiar with but was fascinated by the Fractal pattern. Romanesco broccoli was available online at Whole Foods so I ordered one for my weekly grocery delivery. It looks more like a Cauliflower, but green with Fractal like towers. I used it to create my version of a high-resolution focus-stacked image. I set up a Leica SL2 camera with a 50 mm f/1.4 lens on a tripod with a 10 cm focusing rail. The SL2 camera has the capability to take 187 megapixel images using pixel shifting technology via a Multishot mode (available after a Firmware 2.0 update). I took 87 high-resolution images (ISO 50, 50 mm, f/1.4, 1/10 sec) moving the camera forward in ~1 mm intervals. This resulted in 16,269 megapixels of data. The images were processed with Capture One Pro and then Helicon Focus to afford the following focus-stacked (12510 x 10008 pixel, 717 MB) images. The images is in focus for the full depth of the Romanesco broccoli. I love the natural Fractal patterns. You can see that there are some sections where black mold has started growing. Now to clean it up and figure out how to cook it for dinner.

High-Resolution Focus Stacked image of Romanesco Broccoli. (David J Mathre)
Romanesco broccoli. Composite of 87 focus-stacked images taken with a Leica SL2 camera and 50 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 50, 50 mm, f/1.4, 1/10 sec, multi-shot mode). Images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus (Method A (contrast), Radius 8, Smoothing 4). (David J Mathre)
High-Resolution Focus Stacked image of Romanesco Broccoli. (David J Mathre)
Romanesco broccoli. Composite of 87 focus-stacked images taken with a Leica SL2 camera and 50 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 50, 50 mm, f/1.4, 1/10 sec, multi-shot mode). Images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus (Method B (Depth Map), Radius 8, Smoothing 4). (David J Mathre)
High-Resolution Focus Stacked image of Romanesco Broccoli. (David J Mathre)
Romanesco broccoli. Composite of 87 focus-stacked images taken with a Leica SL2 camera and 50 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 50, 50 mm, f/1.4, 1/10 sec, multi-shot mode). Images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus (Method C (Pyramid), Smoothing 4). (David J Mathre)


High-Resolution Focus Stacked image of Romanesco Broccoli cropped 1x, 2x, 4x, 16x, 32x. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Morning at the Birdfeeders: Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Gray Catbird, House Finch, American Goldfinch, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.


Afternoon at the Birdfeeders. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Contact me if you are interested in a Time-lapse Video of this session at the Birdfeeders. My setup for the birdfeeder images is a Nikon D850 camera and 200 mm f/2 VR lens set to take one image every 5 seconds over a 5 hour period (~3600 images). The new time-lapse video format is 720p (1080 x 720 pixels) and 1 frame/second. The length of the video is about 1 hour in a 1 GB MP4 file. The previous time-lapse videos of the birdfeeders were at 12 frames/second, and to be honest were too fast to identify the birds.

Daily Electric Energy Used (34.9 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (35.0 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Sun and clouds. A surplus of 0.1 kWh.

Sunday (13-September-2020) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

The new bird at the birdfeeder today was a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak. I’ve observed female and younger Rose-breasted Grosbeak before, but not the male with the distinctive rose colored breast shield.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 200 mm f/2 VR lens. (David J Mathre)
caption. (David J Mathre)

Afternoon at the Birdfeeders: Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Gray Catbird, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.


Afternoon at the Birdfeeders. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Contact me if you are interested in a Time-lapse Video of the Morning session at the Birdfeeders. My setup for the birdfeeder images is a Nikon D850 camera and 200 mm f/2 VR lens set to take one image every 5 seconds over a 5 hour period (~3600 images). The new time-lapse video format is 720p (1080 x 720 pixels) and 1 frame/second. The length of the video is about 1 hour in a 1 GB MP4 file. The previous time-lapse videos of the birdfeeders were at 12 frames/second, and to be honest were too fast to identify the birds.

Daily Electric Energy Used (48.0 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (32.6 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Lots of clouds. A deficit of 15.4 kWh.

Weekly Electric Energy Used (360 kWh) from Sense. Weekly Solar Electric Energy Produced (289 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. A deficit of 71 kWh.

Friday (11-September-2020) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Afternoon at the Birdfeeders: Mourning Dove, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Gray Catbird, Song Sparrow, and Northern Cardinal.


Afternoon at the Birdfeeders. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Contact me if you are interested in a Time-lapse Video of the Morning session at the Birdfeeders. My setup for the birdfeeder images is a Nikon D850 camera and 200 mm f/2 VR lens set to take one image every 5 seconds over a 5 hour period (~3600 images). The new time-lapse video format is 720p (1080 x 720 pixels) and 1 frame/second. The length of the video is about 1 hour in a 1 GB MP4 file. The previous time-lapse videos of the birdfeeders were at 12 frames/second, and to be honest were too fast to identify the birds.

Daily Electric Energy Used (56.6 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (24.7 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Lots of clouds. A deficit of 31.9 kWh.

Thursday (10-September-2020) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Afternoon at the Birdfeeders: Mourning Dove, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Gray Catbird, Song Sparrow, and Northern Cardinal.


Afternoon at the Birdfeeders. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Contact me if you are interested in a Time-lapse Video of the Morning or Afternoon session at the Birdfeeders. My setup for the birdfeeder images is a Nikon D850 camera and 200 mm f/2 VR lens set to take one image every 5 seconds over a 5 hour period (~3600 images). The new time-lapse video format is 720p (1080 x 720 pixels) and 1 frame/second. The length of the video is about 1 hour in a 1 GB MP4 file. The previous time-lapse videos of the birdfeeders were at 12 frames/second, and to be honest were too fast to identify the birds.

I wondered why there were periods of time when all of the birds at the feeder disappeared. Then I saw a Bald Eagle in a tree. First time I have seen a Bald Eagle in my backyard. Soon after a bunch of American Crows started harassing the Bald Eagle causing it to fly away. A bit later, I saw a Cooper’s Hawk in the same tree that the Bald Eagle had been perched. As before, a bunch of American Crows started harassing the Cooper’s Hawk causing it to fly away. Finally, some Turkey Vultures showed up.


Bald Eagle. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

alt_title. (David J Mathre)
American Crow. Image taken with a Leica SL2 camera and Sigma 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 DG DN lens. (David J Mathre)


Cooper’s Hawk. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

I also noticed an Eastern Chipmunk under my birdfeeders. A new resident in the neighborhood. It appears to have a tick above its nose.


Eastern Chipmunk. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Daily Electric Energy Used (54.2 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (35.1 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Lots of clouds. A deficit of 19.1 kWh.

Wednesday (12-August-2020) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Afternoon at the Birdfeeders: Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Carolina Wren, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Chipping Sparrow, Brown-headed Cowbird, and Northern Cardinal.


Afternoon at the Birdfeeders. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Lots of American Crows argued over the fruit at the birdfeeder.


American Crows at the Birdfeeder. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Daily Electric Energy Used (72.4 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (43.5 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. More clouds, hot outside. A deficit of 28.9 kWh.