Saturday (01-August-2020) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

My workhorse telephoto zoom 70-300 mm VR lens for the Nikon 1 camera has been acting up. Unfortunately, Nikon discontinued both the mirrorless Nikon 1 cameras and lenses. This lens on the Nikon 1 camera has the field of view equivalent to 189-810 mm on a full frame 35 mm camera sensor. I found a Japanese vendor online that had a 70-300 mm lens listed as practically new for sale. It was a bit more than I paid for the original 70-300 lens, but I felt that I needed the backup in case the original lens failed. The shipment got caught up in customs and I had to pay additional duty because of a tariff on Japanese goods. Thanks twitterer-in-chief for increasing the taxes I have to pay. Many folks don’t understand that it is the US consumer, not the foreign company that needs to pay these extra taxes. Vent over.

I went for an afternoon backyard walkabout with the N1V3 camera and new lens. Harvey the rabbit was out munching on the grass that needs to be cut. It appears that the recent Vultures left the skeleton of a small animal roadkill in the yard. Even though the majority of wildflowers are beginning to die off due to the excess heat, the more hearty Larkspur, Thistle, and Lance-leaf Coreopsis are providing nectar for the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies and Clearwing Hummingbird moths.

Harvey the Rabbit. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Harvey the Rabbit. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Larkspur. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Larkspur. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Dark morph of an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Dark morph of an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Clearwing Hummingbird Moth. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Clearwing Hummingbird Moth. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Robber Fly. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Robber Fly. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (58.5 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (71.6 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Lots of sun. A surplus of 13.1 kWh.

Monday (13-July-2020) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

The first day this summer that I observed Monarch and Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies in one of the backyard wildflower meadows. They are attracted to and feeding on Thistle and Bee Balm (Lemon-Mint, Bergamot) flowers. I also observed my first Clearwing Hummingbird (Hemaris thysbe) moth of the year.

Monarch Butterfly on a Thistle flower. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Thistle flower. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Thistle flower. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Thistle flower. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)

NOTE: IF YOU ARE HAVING PROBLEMS VIEWING THE FOLLOWING SLIDE SHOWS PLEASE TRY A DIFFERENT BROWSER AND LET ME KNOW WHICH BROWSER YOU ARE USING. THANKS!!!


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly. Individual images in the slideshow can be viewed at my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Clearwing Hummingbird (Hemaris thysbe) Moth. Individual images in the slideshow can be viewed at my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Clearwing Hummingbird (Hemaris thysbe) Moth. Individual images in the slideshow can be viewed at my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Clearwing Hummingbird (Hemaris thysbe) Moth. Individual images in the slideshow can be viewed at my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Clearwing Hummingbird (Hemaris thysbe) Moth. Individual images in the slideshow can be viewed at my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Daily Electric Energy Used (54.6 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (80.2 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Much more sun and a few clouds. A surplus of 25.68 kWh.


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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 (24-October-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Autumn Nature in New Jersey.

Even though I thought all of the butterflies were gone for the season, I came across an American Lady feeding on the Marigolds in my remaining Wildflower Meadow. Also a Hoverfly and a Spider.

American Lady Butterfly. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
American Lady Butterfly. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
American Lady Butterfly. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
American Lady Butterfly. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Hoverfly. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/640 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Hoverfly. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/640 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Spider. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Spider. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Spider. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Spider. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (61.1 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (34.4 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Another sunny day, but at this time of the year the sun is lower, and the Sycamore tree leaves shadow the solar panels part of the day. Overall a net deficit of 26.7 kWh.

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Thursday (26-September-2019) — New Jersey

Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Daily walkabout with a Nikon One V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. There were several Monarch butterflies in the wildflower meadow. They seem to like the Cosmos, Zinnia, and Marigold flowers. This may be the last brood that will be heading off to Mexico for the winter. For flowers there was a blue Asiatic Dayflower, Black-eyed Susan, and Purple Morning Glory. I’m not sure if the dayflower was in one of the wildflower seed mixes or is a local (invasive) weed. I also saw a bee that looked to be collecting mud at the edge of the mostly dry pond.


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



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


Bee collecting mud. Image taken with a Nikon One V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Bee collecting mud. Image taken with a Nikon One V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)

Yesterday Electric Energy Used (62.4 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (34.8 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. As the sun gets lower, the leaves from one of my Sycamore trees block the solar panels part of the afternoon. You can see the hump in the graph. The Geothermal HVAC was off. The new hydroponic gardens are using 8.7 kWh. Overall a net deficit of 27.6 kWh.

Daily Electric Energy Used (62.1 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (49.1 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Warmer out so the Geothermal HVAC was back on for some of the afternoon and evening (3.3 kWh). The new hydroponic gardens are using 8.7 kWh. Overall a net deficit of 13.0 kWh.

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