Friday (30-November-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Autumn Nature in New Jersey.

I noticed a black squirrel eyeing the bird feeder on my patio today. For the past 25 years, the squirrels in my backyard have all been the grey variety. I do remember seeing a black squirrel in Princeton several years ago. So maybe the black ones are expanding their range.

alt_title. (David J Mathre)
caption.Black Squirrel. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens (ISO 500, 600 mm, f/4, 1/640 sec). (David J Mathre)


alt_title. (David J Mathre)
Doe sticking here tongue out. about me. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens (ISO 720, 600 mm, f/4, 1/640 sec). (David J Mathre)


Individual images in the slideshows can be viewed here.

Friday (20-July-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Day and Nighttime Nature in New Jersey.

While moving some of the wood being used build the stairway to my patio, I noticed some holes in the ground with a relatively large cicada larva. It had spent the last 13 or 17 years in the ground, and is waiting for a rain storm before crawling to the nearest tree. There it will crawl up and got through the final metamorphosis to the insect phase. We can expect the loud noise of the cicada in the near future as they look for a mate.

Cicada Larva just out of the ground. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Cicada Larva just out of the ground. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (DAVID J MATHRE)

Later in the afternoon, I saw a scruffy Cardinal at the bird feeder. Probably an immature bird just getting its adult red colored feathers. There were a large number of deer in the backyard. At least four fawns with spots,  four or more doe’s, and one buck with its new antlers.


After dark, I could see both the waxing gibbous moon and mars peaking in and out of the clouds. I couldn’t get both in the field of view with a Nikon D4 camera and 600 mm lens. Switching to a Nikon D850 camera and 500 mm lens I was just barely able to get both in the same image. The image of the moon was sharper with the Nikon D850 camera since it was shot with the mirror up, silent mode. With the exposure being used, Mars was just barely visible as a disk.

Waxing Gibbous Moon. Image taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 600 mm f/4 VRII telephoto lens (ISO 100, 600 mm, f/11, 1/100 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Waxing Gibbous Moon. Image taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 600 mm f/4 VRII telephoto lens (ISO 100, 600 mm, f/11, 1/100 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Waxing Gibbous Moon and Mars (tiny disk near the bottom of the image). Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 500 mm f/4 VRII telephoto lens (ISO 64, 500 mm, f/11, 1/125 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Waxing Gibbous Moon and Mars (tiny disk near the bottom of the image). Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 500 mm f/4 VRII telephoto lens (ISO 64, 500 mm, f/11, 1/125 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Waxing Gibbous Moon. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 500 mm f/4 VRII telephoto lens (ISO 64, 500 mm, f/11, 1/125 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Waxing Gibbous Moon. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 500 mm f/4 VRII telephoto lens (ISO 64, 500 mm, f/11, 1/125 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Mars. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 500 mm f/4 VRII telephoto lens (ISO 64, 500 mm, f/11, 1/125 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Mars. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 500 mm f/4 VRII telephoto lens (ISO 64, 500 mm, f/11, 1/125 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Sunday (11-March-2018) — New Jersey

Late-Winter Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

The deer keep getting closer to the house looking for food as winter winds down. They have already clipped the yucca plants. Now all that is left is the grass.

Doe looking for a meal in the snow in the afternoon sun. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 80-400 mm VRII telephoto zoom lens (ISO 400, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec) (David J Mathre)
Doe looking for a meal in the snow in the afternoon sun. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 80-400 mm VRII telephoto zoom lens (ISO 400, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec) (David J Mathre)
Doe looking for a meal in the snow in the afternoon sun. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 80-400 mm VRII telephoto zoom lens (ISO 500, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec) (David J Mathre)
Doe looking for a meal in the snow in the afternoon sun. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 80-400 mm VRII telephoto zoom lens (ISO 500, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec) (David J Mathre)

Six-Years Ago (27-November-2011) — New Jersey

Backyard Autumn Nature in New Jersey: Talking Doe.

I was testing the sharpness of the Nikon 600 mm f/4 lens coupled with a TC-E III 20 teleconverter (effective 1200 mm, f/8 aperture).

Talking Doe. Backyard Autumn Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3s camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens with a TC-EIII 2x teleconverter (ISO 1400, 1200 mm, f/8, 1/320 sec). (David J Mathre)
Talking Doe. Backyard Autumn Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3s camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens with a TC-EIII 2x teleconverter (ISO 1400, 1200 mm, f/8, 1/320 sec). (David J Mathre)

Wednesday (22-November-2017) — New Jersey

Backyard Autumn Nature in New Jersey.

The leaves on the Japanese maple tree have faded from bright red to brown. Yesterday, some birds found the newly renovated bird bath. They will have to wait until next spring for me to install the solar-powered fountain. The three inquisitive but wary does looked on as I was taking pictures of the statue on the bird bath. Now that it is hunting season, the deer know that they need to stay within 400 feet of a house in order to stay safe.

Newly Renovated Bird Bath and Stature. Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 28 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 100, 28 mm, f/4, 1/400 sed) (David J Mathre)
Newly Renovated Bird Bath and Stature. Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 28 mm f/1.8 lens (ISO 100, 28 mm, f/4, 1/400 sed) (David J Mathre)
Trio of wary does in the afternoon sun. Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Leica T camera and 55-135 mm lens (ISO 100, 135 mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec). (David J Mathre)
Trio of wary does in the afternoon sun. Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Leica T camera and 55-135 mm lens (ISO 100, 135 mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec). (David J Mathre)