Monday (21-February-2022) — New Jersey

Wintertime Nature in New Jersey.

Fourth and final day of the Annual Backyard Bird Count. Birds of the day viewed in the backyard, at the birdfeeder and on the patio: Mourning Dove, Red-tailed Hawk, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, European Starling, American Robin, House Sparrow, House Finch, Dark-eyed Junco, White-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbird, Common Grackle, Northern Cardinal. The birds were skittish until a band of Blue Jays harassed and chased away a Red-tailed Hawk.


Birds of the day. 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.


Birds of the day. 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.


Birds of the day. 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.

Daily Electric Energy Used (91.4 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (48.6kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Sunny but colder. Deficit of 42.8 kWh.

Friday (04-February-2022) — New Jersey

Wintertime Nature in New Jersey.

Birds of the day viewed in the backyard, at the birdfeeder and on the patio: Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, European Starling, American Robin, House Finch, Dark-eyed Junco, White-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Common Grackle, Northern Cardinal. A flock of 40+ American Robins and 20+ European Starling invaded the backyard after the rain stopped. Presumably feasting on worms. Later on the American Robins almost completely stripped the Holly Berries from my Holly Tree.


Birds of the day. 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.


Birds of the day. 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.

Daily Electric Energy Used (78.1 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (4.4 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Cloudy, snow then rain. Deficit of 73.7 kWh.

Tuesday (18-January-2022) — New Jersey

Wintertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Birds of the day viewed at the birdfeeder and in the backyard: Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, House Finch, Dark-eyed Junco, White-throated Sparrow, Common Grackle, Northern Cardinal.


Birds of the day. 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.


Birds of the day. 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.

While taking the trash out, I noticed that the moon was nearly full. Actually one day after the full moon. Since the sky was clear, I also set cameras up to do some star trails. There definitely are more jets flying than one and two years ago. Also a couple of meteor trails. A couple of notes using the Leica Q2 monochrome for composite star trail images. The ISO needs to be 100 and the exposure time no greater than 4 seconds, otherwise a second dark (shutter closed) image is taken and subtracted to remove sensor noise. Also, I wish the camera had an option to connect an external power source so I could take longer sequences.

full moon. (David J Mathre)
Full Moon. Image taken with a Leica SL2 camera and Sigma 150-600 mm sport lens (ISO 100, 600 mm, f/8, 1/1000 sec). (David J Mathre)
Star Trails. (David J Mathre)
Star and Jet Trails looking South. Composite of 273 images [19:00 – 21:15] taken with a Leica SL2 camera and Loawa 9 mm f/5.6 W-Dreamer lens (ISO 100, 9 mm, f/5.6, 30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro, and the composite generated using PhotoShop (statistics, maximum). (David J Mathre)
Star Trails. (David J Mathre)
Star and Jet Trails looking South. Composite of 1276 [18:00 – 19:40] images taken with a Leica Q2 monochrome camera with a 28 mm f/1.7 lens. (ISO 100, 28 mm, f/2, 4 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro, and the composite generated using PhotoShop (scripts, statistics, maximum). (David J Mathre)
Star Trails. (David J Mathre)
Star and Jet Trails looking South. Composite of 1520 [20:33 – 22:40] images taken with a Leica Q2 monochrome camera with a 28 mm f/1.7 lens. (ISO 100, 28 mm, f/2, 4 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro, and the composite generated using PhotoShop (scripts, statistics, maximum). (David J Mathre)
Star Trails. (David J Mathre)
Star and Jet Trails looking South. Composite of 1520 [22:59 – 01:06] images taken with a Leica Q2 monochrome camera with a 28 mm f/1.7 lens. (ISO 100, 28 mm, f/2, 4 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro, and the composite generated using PhotoShop (scripts, statistics, maximum). (David J Mathre)

Day 2 of the Bok Choi seeds sprouting time-lapse videos. First video, images taken every 1 minute for 13 hours 36 minutes then displayed at 12 frames/second. The second video images taken every 1 minute for 5 hours, then displayed at 12 frames/second.

Daily Electric Energy Used (95.7 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (22.7 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Some sun and a bit warmer outside so the resistance heaters were not needed, but the Geothermal HVAC system was on most of the day. Deficit of 73.0 kWh.

Monday (17-January-2022) — New Jersey

Wintertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Birds of the day viewed at the birdfeeder and in the backyard: Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, House Finch, Dark-eyed Junco, White-throated Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle. I don’t often get the Red-winged Blackbirds up at the feeder. They mostly spend their time at the bottom of the hill near the J&J facility. Also in the afternoon after the rain stopped, a flock of Dark-eyed Junco’s passed through the yard. One of the local Dark-eyed Junco’s figured out that it can get food from the Thistle (Niger seed) feeder with the tiny holes.


Birds of the day. 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.


Birds of the day. 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.


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

Yesterday, I planted some Bok Choi pods in an AeroGarden Bounty. Although the pods say the Bok Choi seeds should sprout in 4-8 days, I noticed that a couple of seeds had already started to germinate. I set up a Leica SL2s camera with a Laowa 24 mm f/14 macro probe lens to make a time-lapse video of the seeds sprouting. The lens has LED lights at the end of the probe to illuminate the subject. Images were taken every 1 minute for 5 hours 45 minutes, then processed with Capture One Pro and PhotoShop.

Two years ago I was able to grow some red poppies indoors in an AeroGarden hydroponic Farm. It took 124 days (27-February-2020) before the first red poppy flower opened. I want to try it again, with some different types of poppies. The first thing will be to test the viability of the seeds. I seem to remember that I needed to put the seeds in the fridge or freezer in order to get them to germinate. Images of the seeds to be tested taken with a Leica SL2s camera with a Laowa 24 mm f/14 macro probe lens. For reference, the diameter of the circle is 35 mm. The seeds to be tested are California Poppy (American Meadows, 2018), Oriental Poppy (American Meadows, 2019); Lauren-Grape Poppy (Marde Ross & Company, 2020); Hungarian Breadseed Poppy (Plant Good Seed, 2020); Red Poppy (American Meadows, 2019 Spring); Turkish Tulip Poppy (Waterfall Seeds, 2020); Somniferum Blend Poppy (Seed Needs, 2020); Red Poppy (American Meadows, 2019 Fall); Mixed Red Poppy (American Meadows, 2019).



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

Daily Electric Energy Used (91.4 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (4.9 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. A bit warmer outside so the resistance heaters were not needed, but the Geothermal HVAC system was on most of the day. Deficit of 86.5 kWh.

Sunday (16-January-2022) — New Jersey

Wintertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Birds of the day viewed at the birdfeeder and in the backyard: Mourning Dove, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Dark-eyed Junco, Common Grackle.


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

Daily Electric Energy Used (127.0 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (22.4 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Cold outside. Whenever the external temperature drops below 10°F, the resistance heaters kick in to assist the Geothermal HVAC heating the house. Deficit of 104.6 kWh.

Weekly Electric Energy Used (632 kWh) from Sense. Weekly Solar Electric Energy Produced (211 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Deficit of 421 kWh.