Friday (12-July-2019) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Daily Walkabout. American Goldfinch, Kermit the Bullfrog near the pond, Black Swallowtail Butterfly and Caterpillar. The Black Swallowtail caterpillars really like Dill plants on my Grow Tower. I harvested and froze the dill I wanted for the year so the Black Swallowtails can have the rest.

American Goldfinch. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
American Goldfinch. 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)


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



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


Daily Power Use (54.8 kWh) from Sense and Solar Production (74.17 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. More sun today, so more than doubled the amount of power generated than yesterday. Even though it was warmer out the Geothermal HVAC was able to keep up, and still send some energy back into the grid.

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Wednesday (10-July-2019) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Walkabout around the house to view the flowers and wildflower gardens. New Poppy flowers are still showing up. More and more sunflowers are appearing. A new small butterfly showed up in one of the rear wildflower meadows. It appears to be a Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) Butterfly. I am also starting to see more grasshoppers munching on my flowers.


Pink Poppy Flower. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens + 2.0 TC-E (DAVID J MATHRE)
Pink Poppy Flower. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens + 2.0 TC-E (DAVID J MATHRE)
Pink Poppy Flower. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens + 2.0 TC-E (DAVID J MATHRE)
Pink Poppy Flower. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens + 2.0 TC-E (DAVID J MATHRE)
Pink Poppy Flower. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens + 2.0 TC-E (DAVID J MATHRE)
Pink Poppy Flower. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens + 2.0 TC-E (DAVID J MATHRE)
Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) Butterfly. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) Butterfly. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) Butterfly. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) Butterfly. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Grasshopper Feeding on a Yellow Flower. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens + 2.0III TC-E (DAVID J MATHRE)
Grasshopper Feeding on a Yellow Flower. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens + 2.0III TC-E (DAVID J MATHRE)
Grasshopper Feeding on a Yellow Flower. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens + 2.0III TC-E (DAVID J MATHRE)
Grasshopper Feeding on a Yellow Flower. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens + 2.0III TC-E (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Power Use (62.0 kWh) from Sense and Solar Production (76.7 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Lots of sun today, so the solar panels generated more power that I used. Usage was up ~ 4 kWh since I did a load of laundry.

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Tuesday (09-July-2019) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

While it was still cool out in the morning, I mowed the yard. It had been over a week and I needed to catch up. I had my Nikon 1 V3 camera with the 70-300 mm lens with me “just in case”. Sure enough when I passed the back wildflower section I noticed a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. It found the dwarf Zinnia flowers that had just started blooming. This section was not seeded until several weeks after the sections next to the house where the wildflowers are now waist to shoulder high. After I finished mowing I came across a Painted Lady butterfly in the wildflowers near the house. Then to make my day, I saw a Monarch butterfly. I was cooking dinner and looked out the kitchen window and saw it fly by. Normally, I don’t see the Monarch butterflies until late August and September. So I ran out with the camera and got some pictures. I didn’t care that dinner burned while I was outside…

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Cosmos Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Cosmos Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Painted Lady Butterfly on a Coneflower Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Painted Lady Butterfly on a Coneflower Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Painted Lady Butterfly on a Coreopsis Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Painted Lady Butterfly on a Coreopsis Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Painted Lady Butterfly on a Coneflower Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Painted Lady Butterfly on a Coneflower Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Coreopsis Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Coreopsis Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Coreopsis Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Coreopsis Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Coreopsis Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Coreopsis Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Coreopsis Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Coreopsis Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Sunflower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Sunflower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Power Use (58.9 kWh) from Sense and Solar Production (79.1 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Much more sun today, so the solar panels generated more power that I used.

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Five-Years Ago (11-February-2014) — Florida

Gone to See America 2014 Road Trip. Day 11: Big Cypress Swamp National Preserve.

Pair of Queen Butterflies on a wildflower along the Loop Road. Image taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 70-200 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec).

Pair of Queen Butterflies on a Wildflower. Big Cypress Swamp National Preserve in Florida. Image taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 70-200 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec). (David J Mathre)
Pair of Queen Butterflies on a Wildflower. Big Cypress Swamp National Preserve in Florida. Image taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 70-200 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec). (David J Mathre)

Eleven-Years Ago (08-October-2007) — New Jersey

Autumn Nature in New Jersey.

Monarch Butterfly. Eleven-years ago while driving home from work I saw purple wild flowers on the side of the road at an abandoned golf course in Hillsborough. I pulled over to see if there was a picture. The purple wildflowers attracted dozens of Monarch butterflies providing more colors.  I took this image with my favorite 80-400 mm telephoto zoom lens. The hard part was working at the minimum focus distance for the lens (~ 7 feet). I needed to keep stepping back to get the image in focus. One more reason I always have a camera with me.

Every year after that I would check the place at the same time of the year, but never saw as many wildflowers or Monarch Butterflies. The last several years the place became a construction site for a highway bypass and interchange. Now that the construction is complete and the bypass open, it looks like wildflowers may come back. We will see if the Monarch Butterflies come back in the future.

Monarch Butterfly. Late Fall Nature in Central New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 80-400 mm VR lens (ISO 100, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Monarch Butterfly. Late Fall Nature in Central New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 80-400 mm VR lens (ISO 100, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)


Individual images in the slideshow can be viewed here.