Tuesday (02-June-2020) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

First Butterfly of the season — an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail feeding on the Rhododendron flowers.

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly feeding on Rhododendron flowers. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 70-300 mm lens (ISO 500, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly feeding on Rhododendron flowers. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 70-300 mm lens (ISO 500, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Birds of the Day — Gray Catbird, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, and Eastern Phoebe. The large nestling, in the Eastern Phoebe nest was finally convinced to jump out of the nest. The now fledgling spent the night on a cardboard box just under the nest. I suspect the fledgling is a Brown-headed Cowbird (later confirmed by the reviewers from eBird).


cBirds of the Day. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Eastern Phoebe Nest with a Brown-headed Cowbird chick. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Spring flowers of the day — Red, Pink, Icelandic, Oriental, and California Poppies. White Allium, Foxglove, Bachelor Button, Cornflower, Baby Blue Eyes, Spiderwort, Johnny Jump Up, Love-in-a-Mist, Evening Primrose, Daisy, Sweet William, Lance-leaf Coreopsis, Beard Tongue, Baby’s Breath, Rhododendron, and Tulip Tree.


Poppies — Landscape. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Poppies — Portrait. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Spring Flowers — Landscape. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Spring Flowers — Portrait. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Daily Electric Energy Used (40.5 kWh) from meter readings the Sense Home Energy Monitor. The daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (48.6 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Lots of clouds during the day. A surplus of 8.1 kWh.


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Thursday (28-May-2020) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

Birds of the Day — Brown-headed Cowbird, House Finch, Northern Cardinal, Pileated Woodpecker, and Eastern Phoebe. I haven’t seen the Pileated Woodpecker in my yard for some time. I’ve heard it working on the neighbors trees looking for grubs. The Eastern Phoebes are back to just feeding the two young chicks in the nest.


Birds of the Day. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Pileated Woodpecker. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Spring flowers of the day — Poppies (California, Oriental, Red), Bachelor Button, Crimson Clover, Tulip Tree, Cornflower, Forget-me-not, Rhododendron, Baby Blue Eyes, and Johnny Jump Up, Evening Primrose, and Daisy.


Spring Flowers of the Day – Portrait. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Spring Flowers of the Day — Landscape. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

I got part of the yard mowed before it started raining. Time-lapse video recorded using a Garmin VIRB-360 camera

Daily Electric Energy Used (47.3 kWh) from meter readings the Sense Home Energy Monitor. The daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (24.9 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Fog in the morning and clouds in the afternoon. A deficit of 22.4 kWh.


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Wednesday (27-May-2020) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

While taking the trash out for the weekly pickup, one of the tiny hatchlings from the Eastern Phoebe nest jumped out of the nest. It could barely fly, mainly a controlled landing. I got some pictures of the bird on the ground. I have a strong suspicion that it is a Brown-headed Cowbird. The remaining two birds in the nest are much smaller. Also, the Eastern Phoebe parents didn’t seem to be too concerned about the bird down on the ground and continued to feed the two birds in the nest.


Eastern Phoebe or Brown-headed Cowbird?. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Birds of the Day — Brown-headed Cowbird, House Finch, Northern Cardinal, Chipping Sparrow, Carolina Wren, and Red-bellied Woodpecker. Many of the birds at the feeder these days are young and are trying to figure out the pecking order.


Birds of the Day. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Spring flowers of the day — Poppies (California, Oriental, Red), Allium, Cosmos, Forget-me-not, Rhododendron, Baby Blue Eyes, and Johnny Jump Up.


Spring Flowers of the Day. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Poppies of the Day – Portrait. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Poppies of the Day — Landscape. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Daily Electric Energy Used (43.0 kWh) from meter readings the Sense Home Energy Monitor. The daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (58.6 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Fog in the morning, Sun and clouds in the afternoon. A surplus of 15.8 kWh.



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Tuesday (19-May-2020) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

Birds of the Day — American Robin and Eastern Phoebe. Kermit and brothers in the pond. Spring flowers of the day include Gladiolus, Five-spot, Rhododendron, Sweet William, Blue Flax, Baby Blue Eyes, Daisy, Dame’s Rocket, Siberian Wallflowers, California Poppy, and Red Poppy. The Gladiolus is growing up through a crack in the patio blue-stones. I’ve never planted Gladiolus bulbs before so this must have come from some random blown seed??? I spend much of the day cleaning up the patio, and assembling a Grow Tower. The activity was recorded by a Garmin VIRB-360 camera and used to create two time-lapse videos.

American Robin hunting for a worm. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/800 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
American Robin hunting for a worm. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/800 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Eastern Phoebe on a branch. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Eastern Phoebe on a branch. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)


Kermit in the Pond. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Springtime Flowers of the Day. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Daily Electric Energy Used (47.0 kWh) from meter readings the Sense Home Energy Monitor. The daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (77.0 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Sun with some clouds. A surplus of 30.0 kWh.


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Saturday (02-May-2020) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

More birds at the feeder today. In the morning: Blue Jay, Northern Cardinal, and Chipping Sparrow. In the afternoon: Northern Cardinal, Brown-headed Cowbird, and Carolina Wren. The Carolina Wren actually was on the roof with a grub in its mouth. It was also calling out letting folks know it had a grub. I’m not sure if it was trying to attract a mate, or to get a young bird to fledge and get out of the nest. In the afternoon, I mowed the lawn for the first time this year. The grass was getting to be ankle high. I hadn’t mowed earlier because a tire on the lawn tractor was flat. While mowing, I noticed a number of small wildflowers already blooming. I haven’t planted andy wildflower seeds yet this spring, so these are either native, or have self-seeded from last year. Later in the afternoon, I went for a walkabout in the yard to document the early May flowers: Johnny-Jump-Up, Blue Forget me Not, Grape Hyacinth, Plum Tree, Siberian Wallflower, Five-Spots, Prunella Vulgaris (also known as Self-Heal, Heal-All, and Woundwort), Baby Blue Eyes, wild Violet (Viola), Jack in the Pulpit, Lilac, California Poppy, Allium bud, Star of Bethlehem, Strawberry, Yellow Tulip.


Birds in the Morning. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Birds in the Afternoon and Early Evening. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Carolina Wren with a slug. Image taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 320, 80 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)
Carolina Wren with a grub. Image taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 320, 80 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)


Early May Backyard Flowers. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Early May Backyard Flowers. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Daily Electric Energy Used (45.9 kWh) from meter readings the Sense Home Energy Monitor. The daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (69.5 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Sunny, but the power was out for a couple of hours in the afternoon. A surplus of 23.6 kWh.


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