Tuesday (08-September-2020) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Morning at the Birdfeeders: Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, Gray Catbird, House Finch, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Baltimore Oriole, and Northern Cardinal. The Baltimore Oriole likes fruit and is pretty aggressive — willing to stare down Blue Jay’s and Gray Catbirds.


Morning at the Birdfeeders. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery. <


Bonus — Female/Immature Baltimore Oriole. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Afternoon at the Birdfeeders: Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, Gray Catbird, House Finch, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Baltimore Oriole, and Northern Cardinal.

For the afternoon session (and all future sessions) I added a white card for focus, exposure, and white balance. During these multi-hour sessions the light at the birdfeeders can go from bright to rather dark and direct sunlight to cloudy to shade. I have the camera set to manual for aperture (f/8) and shutter-speed (1/400 sec) with the ISO automatically adjusted for the brightness on the white card. The white card also allows me to adjust the white balance for the lighting conditions at the birdfeeder — not the full image including the background which may have different lighting conditions.


Afternoon at the Birdfeeders. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Contact me if you are interested in a Time-lapse Video of the Morning or Afternoon session at the Birdfeeders. My setup for the birdfeeder images is a Nikon D850 camera and 200 mm f/2 VR lens set to take one image every 5 seconds over a 5 hour period (~3600 images). The new time-lapse video format is 720p (1080 x 720 pixels) and 1 frame/second. The length of the video is about 1 hour in a 1 GB MP4 file. The previous time-lapse videos of the birdfeeders were at 12 frames/second, and to be honest were too fast to identify the birds.

I also set the Ricoh Theta Z1 camera up in the patio to take images every 2 minutes for a daytime time-Lapse video. Shown as a 360 x 180 degree Equirectangular Panorama and as a 360 Degree Little Planet Panorama. I’m not sure why I have a black line artifact in the Little Planet view. I’m also still optimizing the workflow for processing the images to create these Time-Lapse videos.

Daily Electric Energy Used (55.2 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (57.3 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. More Sun. A surplus of 2.1 kWh.

Saturday (29-August-2020) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

I received the newly released Sigma 100-400 mm telephoto zoom lens with a L-mount and spent the day testing it with a Leica SL2 camera. Leica, Panasonic, and Sigma formed an alliance to use the L-mount system. This lens provides a bit more reach than the Leica 90-280 mm lens. The alliance means that Sigma was able to make a lens that is fully compatible with the Leica TL2, CL, and SL2 cameras (autofocus and aperture control).

Something has been nibbling on the May Apple seeds, and wonder if a turtle found them. The wildflowers (Cosmos, Lance-leaf Coreopsis, Plains Coreopsis, Chicory, Marigold, Blanket Flower, Sunflower, Gloriosa Daisy, Shasta Daisy, Thistle, Lemon-mint, and Zinnia) are almost done for the season. I noticed an Eastern Chipmunk eating seeds under the birdfeeder. In 25+ years here, I’ve never seen a chipmunk in the yard before. I wonder if it will leave my Grow Towers alone. Kermit the bullfrog was out in the pond. Birds at the patio bird feeder today included Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, House Finch, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, and Northern Cardinal. At one point a Blue Jay and Mourning Dove were feeding when an immature Red-bellied Woodpecker chased them away.

May Apple Seeds. Image taken with a Leica SL2 camera and Sigma 100-400 mm lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
May Apple Seeds. Image taken with a Leica SL2 camera and Sigma 100-400 mm lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
May Apple Seeds. Image taken with a Leica SL2 camera and Sigma 100-400 mm lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
May Apple Seeds. Image taken with a Leica SL2 camera and Sigma 100-400 mm lens (DAVID J MATHRE)


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


Eastern Chipmunk. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Kermit the Bulfrog. Image taken with a Leica SL2 camera and Sigma 100-400 mm lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Kermit the Bulfrog. Image taken with a Leica SL2 camera and Sigma 100-400 mm lens (DAVID J MATHRE)


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


Blue Jay and Mourning Dove chased away by an immature Red-bellied Woodpecker. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Daily Electric Energy Used (47.8 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (26.1 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. More clouds. A deficit of 21.7 kWh.

Friday (28-August-2020) — New Jersery

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Midday at the Birdfeeders: Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, Carolina Wren, Gray Catbird, House Finch, American Goldfinch, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, and Northern Cardinal.


Midday at the Birdfeeders. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Daily Electric Energy Used (60.6 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (48.0 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Sun, clouds, and hot outside. A deficit of 12.6 kWh.

Saturday (22-August-2020) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

While out mowing the too high grass, I came across some ripening May Apples. The leaves had all been nibbled off by the local deer. Apparently, the deer don’t like the May Apple fruit. I’ve been told that turtle like to eat them, and that is how the seeds get dispersed. I haven’t seen any turtles in the yard this year.

May Apple. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
May Apple. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
May Apple. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
May Apple. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)

Afternoon at the Birdfeeders: Mourning Dove, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Gray Catbird, American Goldfinch, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Brown-headed Cowbird, and Northern Cardinal.


Afternoon at the Birdfeeders. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Daily Electric Energy Used (68.6 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (62.6 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Sun, clouds, and hot outside. A deficit of 6.0 kWh.

Wednesday (19-August-2020) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Morning at the Birdfeeders: Mourning Dove, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, and Northern Cardinal.


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

Daily Electric Energy Used (43.0 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (35.2 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Lots of clouds. A deficit of 7.8 kWh.