Saturday (16-October-2021) — New Jersey

Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Birds of the day viewed at the birdfeeder and in the backyard: Mourning Dove, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, American Robin, House Finch. Early in the morning there were no birds around the birdfeeder. I noticed the Red-tailed Hawk up in a tree being harassed by a troop of noisy Blue Jays. Once the hawk left, some birds did show up at the birdfeeder. Late in the afternoon as a storm approached, the sky was full of Turkey Vultures soaring ahead of the dark clouds.


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

Mid-afternoon a Monarch butterfly showed up and started feeding on a Butterfly Bush. I’m not sure if it is the same Monarch from yesterday. The wind was picking up as a storm approached, but the butterfly held on tight while it continued to feed on the nectar. It kept coming back for a good two hours. It needs to fuel up for the long trip to Mexico, or where ever the east coast Monarch’s go to hibernate. I got lots of pictures.


Monarch butterfly feeding on a Butterfly Bush. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Monarch butterfly feeding on a Butterfly Bush. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Monarch butterfly on a post. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Monarch butterfly on a post. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Monarch butterfly resting on a bush. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Monarch butterfly feeding on a Butterfly Bush. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Monarch butterfly feeding on a Butterfly Bush. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Monarch butterfly feeding on a Butterfly Bush. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Monarch butterfly resting on a post. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Monarch butterfly resting on a bush. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Monarch butterfly resting on a bush. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Monarch butterfly feeding on a Butterfly Bush. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Daily Electric Energy Used (48.5 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (32.1 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Sun and clouds. Deficit of 16.4 kWh.

Friday (15-October-2021) — New Jersey

Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Birds of the day viewed at the birdfeeder and in the backyard: Mourning Dove, Turkey Vulture, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Black-capped Chickadee, European Starling, American Robin, House Finch.


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

Flowers (and plants) of the day: Chinese Forget-me-not, Cosmos, Marigold, Plains Coreopsis, Teasel.


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

Time-lapse video of a day in the wildflower meadow. This section was plated late in summer with Cosmos and Plains Coreopsis. The earlier planting in this section failed, mainly coming up with tall grass instead of the spring to summer wildflowers. I mowed the grass down, rototilled, and covered with a black-agricultural fabric to kill off the weeds for several weeks before replanting. I am now starting to get some flowers even though the plants are not very tall. Another section was planted with Marigold and Zinnia. They are not growing very fast, and have not bloomed. It also doesn’t help that the Deer and Ground Hog continue to nibble on the small plants. [Click on the full screen button, bottom right corner to view a larger image.]

I haven’t seen any Monarch butterflies until today since August. Usually there are some of the group that migrates south to hibernate around in October. One of the places that I usually see them in October is at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. This year the brush along the high-pressure underground gas line was mowed, and there are no flowers to attract the Monarch butterflies. Today, while rototilling one of my wildflower meadows to prepare for next spring I noticed the shadow of a butterfly flying. When I turned around, I saw a Monarch. It landed on a Zinnia flower. I dropped everything and ran inside to get a camera. When I got back outside, I found the Monarch feeding on a Marigold flower.


Monarch butterfly feeding on a Marigold flower. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Deer in the backyard. They keep trying to get into the fenced off areas. Some look pretty scrawny.


Critters of the day. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Waxing Gibbous moon with my new Sigma 150-600 mm sport (L-mount) lens on a Leica SL2 camera.

Waxing Gibbous moon. (David J Mathre)
Waxing Gibbous Moon. Image taken with a Leica SL2 camera and Sigma 150-600 mm OIS lens (handheld). (David J Mathre)

Daily Electric Energy Used (53.4 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (33.3 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Sunny. Deficit of 20.1 kWh.

Tuesday (03-August-2021) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Birds of the day viewed at the birdfeeder and in the backyard: Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Blue Jay, Gray Catbird, House Finch, American Goldfinch, Chipping Sparrow, Common Grackle.


Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


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

Flowers of the day: Black-eyed Susan, Canna, Cosmos, Nasturtium, Partridge Pea, Plains Coreopsis, Sunflower, Zinnia.


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


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

Both Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and Monarch butterflies feeding on a Thistle flower.


Butterflies of the day. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Other bugs of the day include a pair of tiny Dragonflies mating, and Milkweed Aphids eating a Milkweed plant.


Bugs of the day. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

The local Fawns, still with spots are getting bigger. A groundhog in the back wildflower meadow. Kermit the bullfrog in the pond.


Critters of the day. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Daily Electric Energy Used (51.0 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (47.2 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Clouds and sun. A deficit of 3.8 kWh.

Wednesday (02-June-2021) — New Jersey

Springtime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Lot of images today. Birds, Frogs, Snakes, Insects, and Flowers. The Brood X Cicadas are everywhere and continue singing their love song.

Birds viewed in the backyard and near the patio birdfeeder: American Robin, House Finch. The American Robin was feeding on a Cicada.


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

Kermit the Bullfrog and all of his relatives in the pond are getting fat fast this spring. Presumably out feeding on the Cicadas.


Bullfrogs in the pond. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

While working on the back wildflower meadow, I turned over some cardboard and found this Garter Snake.


Garter Snake. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Insects/bugs observed during the day include Cicada (Brood X), Dragonfly, Damselfly, Grasshopper, Cabbage White Butterfly, Water-walker, and tick(?).


Insects and other bugs. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Spring flowers blooming: Love-in-a-Mist, Red Poppy, California Poppy, Sweet Alyssum, Rhododendron, Baby Blue Eyes, Sweet William, Daisy, Blue-eyed Grass, Beardtongue Foxglove, Siberian Wallflower, Evening Primrose, Clematis, Honeysuckle, and Poison Ivy. The Poison Ivy flowers were on a giant 3 inch diameter vine climbing on a dead tree.


Love-in-a-Mist. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Red Poppy. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


California Poppy. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


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


Poison Ivy Vine and Flowers. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Daily Electric Energy Used (51.7 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (56.2 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Sun and clouds. A surplus of 4.5 kWh.

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.