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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Sunday (17-May-2020) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

Norwegian Independence Day for those in Norway. A busy day today. The trap in the patio was set up overnight for the band of raccoons. Instead, early in the morning the young fox visited several times. Each time circling and sniffing the trap. Then it entered, tasted the apple scraps and backed out. The fox would have been OK, but got greedy. A minute later, it reentered and set off the trap. As soon as it was light out, I let him out of jail.

Springtime Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro OIS lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Springtime Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro OIS lens (DAVID J MATHRE)

Birds observed on the patio or while on my daily backyard walkabout include American Crow, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, Brown-headed Cowbird, Gray Catbird, Tufted Titmouse, Eastern Phoebe, and Turkey Vulture. I finally got an image of the Eastern Phoebe sitting on its nest. I also captured an image an immature Northern Cardinal is being fed by its father. I observed this behavior six years ago while on a bird photography workshop in southern Texas. One of the images I took at that time was my most viewed and commented on the now defunct Google Plus.


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

Eastern Phoebe sitting in the nest. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens (ISO 1600, 261 mm, f/11, 1/45 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Eastern Phoebe sitting in the nest. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens (ISO 1600, 261 mm, f/11, 1/45 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)


Northern Cardinals. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Father feeding Immature Northern Cardinal. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens (ISO 1600, 600 mm, f/8, 1/200 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Father feeding Immature Northern Cardinal. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens (ISO 1600, 600 mm, f/8, 1/200 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Male Northern Cardinal Feeding Breakfast to a Young Cardinal at a Private Ranch in Southern Texas. Image taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 500 mm f/4 lens (ISO 500, 500 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000 sec. (David J Mathre)
Male Northern Cardinal Feeding Breakfast to a Young Cardinal at a Private Ranch in Southern Texas. Image taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 500 mm f/4 lens (ISO 500, 500 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000 sec. (David J Mathre)
Male Northern Cardinal Feeding Breakfast to a Young Cardinal at a Private Ranch in Southern Texas. Image taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 140, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec. (David J Mathre)
Male Northern Cardinal Feeding Breakfast to a Young Cardinal at a Private Ranch in Southern Texas. Image taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 140, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec. (David J Mathre)
Male Northern Cardinal Feeding Breakfast to a Young Cardinal at a Private Ranch in Southern Texas. Image taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 500 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 1600, 500 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000 sec. (David J Mathre)
Male Northern Cardinal Feeding Breakfast to a Young Cardinal at a Private Ranch in Southern Texas. Image taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 500 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 1600, 500 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000 sec. (David J Mathre)

Spring flowers of the day include Five-spot, Dandelion, Johnny Jump Up, Rhododendron, Forget-me-not, Daisy, Flax, Sweet William, California Poppy, and Red Poppy.


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


Red and California Poppy Flowers of the Day. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Kermit along with his brother, cousin, and uncle (also named Kermit) out in the backyard pond.


Kermit Clan sunning at the backyard pond. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Daily Electric Energy Used (52.3 kWh) from meter readings the Sense Home Energy Monitor. The daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (67.6 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Lots of Sun and intermittent clouds. A surplus of 15.3 kWh.

Weekly Electric Energy Used (356 kWh) from meter readings the Sense Home Energy Monitor. The weekly Solar Electric Energy Produced (514 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Finely, a week with a decent surplus (158 kWh).


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Tuesday (12-May-2020) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

It was a busy day. Up very early to see the Waning Gibbous moon. Birds for the day included Mourning Dove, Gray Catbird, House Finch, Brown-headed Cowbird, Indigo Bunting, Chipping Sparrow, American Crow, Northern Cardinal, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. The Indigo Bunting is new here. With all of the rain, the grass is growing fast and needed to be mowed. Afterwards, I took a walkabout and came upon both a Fowler’s Toad, and an American Bullfrog. Lots of early spring flowers including Prunella Vulgaris (also known as Self-Heal, Heal-All, and Woundwort), Jack in the Pulpit, Five-spot, Forget Me Not, Johnny Jump Up, Siberian Wallflower, Crimson Clover, Allium, California Poppy, Flax, Dogwood, and Bethlehem Star (Grass Lily). As a bonus, at the end of the day, I found a White Poppy flower. This is the first regular poppy to bloom outdoors this year. The California Poppies have been blooming for a couple of weeks now.

Waning Gibbous Moon. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 100, 600 mm, f/4, 1/640 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Waning Gibbous Moon. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 100, 600 mm, f/4, 1/640 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)


Birds Viewed from my Patio. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Male Indigo Bunting. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 200, 600 mm, f/4, 1/400 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Male Indigo Bunting. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 200, 600 mm, f/4, 1/400 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)


Fowler’s Toad. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


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


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


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

White Poppy. Composite of 100 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 60 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 64, 60 mm, f/4, 1/30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
White Poppy. Composite of 100 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 60 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 64, 60 mm, f/4, 1/30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (56.1 kWh) from meter readings the Sense Home Energy Monitor. The daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (82.5 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Lots of sun. A surplus of 26.4 kWh.


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Friday (27-September-2019) — New Jersey

Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

For the past week I haven’t been outside much while working on several indoor projects. Today I did my walkabout with a Nikon D5 camera and 80-400 mm VRII lens. In burst mode, this camera sounds like a machine gun — but is able to focus and track moving targets. Good thing today because it was a bit windy out. I noticed that the Burma Water Gourd vine had produced several gourds. It probably is too late for these to develop into the 1 meter long gourds I saw while in Burma, and that my mother was able to grow in Florida. I was also surprised to see that I still have Strawberry plants that are flowering and producing more Strawberries this late in the season. There were lots and lots of Monarch butterflies in my wildflower meadows. They were feeding on Mexican Sunflower, Zinnia, and Marigold flowers. I also caught two Common Buckeye butterflies. I was surprised to see a Hummingbird Clearwing moth feeding on Larkspur and Lemon Mint flowers. There are still a couple of Bullfrogs in the almost dry pond. One stayed still long enough to get an image. Later in the afternoon a Doe spent some time just outside the fenced in wildflower garden. The Air Dancer Scarecrows appear to be working. Finally, while reviewing the images I found one of a backlit Cosmos flower with a Praying Mantis lurking. I admit I didn’t notice the Praying Mantis when I took the image, even though I have been looking for them for several weeks.

Burma Water Gourd. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 80-400 mm VRII lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Burma Water Gourd. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 80-400 mm VRII lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Burma Water Gourd. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 80-400 mm VRII lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Burma Water Gourd. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 80-400 mm VRII lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Strawberry flowers (and green strawberry). Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 80-400 mm VRII lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Strawberry flowers (and green strawberry). Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 80-400 mm VRII lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)


Click on the above image to access my PhotoShelter gallery with the individual images in the following slideshow.



Click on the above image to access my PhotoShelter gallery with the individual images in the following slideshow.



Click on the above image to access my PhotoShelter gallery with the individual images in the following slideshow.


Common Buckeye butterfly on a Cosmos flower. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 80-400 mm VRII lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Common Buckeye butterfly on a Cosmos flower. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 80-400 mm VRII lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Common Buckeye butterfly on a Marigold flower. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 80-400 mm VRII lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Common Buckeye butterfly on a Marigold flower. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 80-400 mm VRII lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)


Click on the above image to access my PhotoShelter gallery with the individual images in the following slideshow.



Click on the above image to access my PhotoShelter gallery with the individual images in the following slideshow.


Kermit the Bullfrog in the nearly empty pond. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 80-400 mm VRII lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Kermit the Bullfrog in the nearly empty pond. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 80-400 mm VRII lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)


Click on the above image to access my PhotoShelter gallery with the individual images in the following slideshow.


Backlit Cosmos Flower (with a Praying Mantis). Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 80-400 mm VRII lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Backlit Cosmos Flower (with a Praying Mantis). Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 80-400 mm VRII lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (51.1 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (49.2 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Almost break-even with an overall net deficit of 1.9 kWh. Clear skies most of the day (with the Sycamore tree blocking the solar panels in the afternoon). The Geothermal HVAC system was only on for a short time (2.7 kWh) and the new indoor hydroponic systems running (8.7 kWh).

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Sunday (15-September-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

Daily walkabout with a Fuji X-H1 camera,  80 mm f/2.8 macro lens, and 1.4x teleconverter or a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 VR lens. It is late summer an a lot of the wildflowers are fading so I took a series of images of the wildflowers that remain. There is a red flower that I originally thought was an Indian Paintbrush. The deer and/or rabbits really like it since most of the flowers are consumed soon after blooming. The stem and leaves are also red, so I really don’t know its identity. The deer left the Marigold and Lemon Mint flowers that the Bumblebees like. One type of Bumblebee is nearly twice the size of the other ones. After going nearly a week without seeing any butterflies, I was pleased to see a Monarch, Tiger Swallowtail, Painted Lady, Skipper, and the new one for this year a Pipevine Swallowtail. The Goldfinch and other birds are busy feasting on the Sunflowers. Even though the pond in nearly empty, a few Bullfrogs remain.


Click on the above image to access my PhotoShelter gallery that contains the individual images in the following slideshow.



Click on the above image to access my PhotoShelter gallery that contains the individual images in the following slideshow.



Click on the above image to access my PhotoShelter gallery that contains the individual images in the following slideshow.



Click on the above image to access my PhotoShelter gallery that contains the individual images in the following slideshow.


Goldfinch feeding on Sunflowers. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Goldfinch feeding on Sunflowers. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Kermit the Bullfrog. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Kermit the Bullfrog. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (50.4 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (57.2 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. More sun but warmer again. The Geothermal HVAC used 10.7 kWh. Overall a net surplus of 6.8 kWh.

Weekly Electric Energy Used (311 kWh) and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (277 kWh) for a net deficit of 34 kWh. Several cloudy days last week.

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