Tuesday (19-May-2020) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

Birds of the Day — American Robin and Eastern Phoebe. Kermit and brothers in the pond. Spring flowers of the day include Gladiolus, Five-spot, Rhododendron, Sweet William, Blue Flax, Baby Blue Eyes, Daisy, Dame’s Rocket, Siberian Wallflowers, California Poppy, and Red Poppy. The Gladiolus is growing up through a crack in the patio blue-stones. I’ve never planted Gladiolus bulbs before so this must have come from some random blown seed??? I spend much of the day cleaning up the patio, and assembling a Grow Tower. The activity was recorded by a Garmin VIRB-360 camera and used to create two time-lapse videos.

American Robin hunting for a worm. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/800 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
American Robin hunting for a worm. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/800 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Eastern Phoebe on a branch. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Eastern Phoebe on a branch. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)


Kermit in the Pond. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


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

Daily Electric Energy Used (47.0 kWh) from meter readings the Sense Home Energy Monitor. The daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (77.0 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Sun with some clouds. A surplus of 30.0 kWh.


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Tuesday (12-May-2020) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

It was a busy day. Up very early to see the Waning Gibbous moon. Birds for the day included Mourning Dove, Gray Catbird, House Finch, Brown-headed Cowbird, Indigo Bunting, Chipping Sparrow, American Crow, Northern Cardinal, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. The Indigo Bunting is new here. With all of the rain, the grass is growing fast and needed to be mowed. Afterwards, I took a walkabout and came upon both a Fowler’s Toad, and an American Bullfrog. Lots of early spring flowers including Prunella Vulgaris (also known as Self-Heal, Heal-All, and Woundwort), Jack in the Pulpit, Five-spot, Forget Me Not, Johnny Jump Up, Siberian Wallflower, Crimson Clover, Allium, California Poppy, Flax, Dogwood, and Bethlehem Star (Grass Lily). As a bonus, at the end of the day, I found a White Poppy flower. This is the first regular poppy to bloom outdoors this year. The California Poppies have been blooming for a couple of weeks now.

Waning Gibbous Moon. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 100, 600 mm, f/4, 1/640 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Waning Gibbous Moon. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 100, 600 mm, f/4, 1/640 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)


Birds Viewed from my Patio. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Male Indigo Bunting. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 200, 600 mm, f/4, 1/400 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Male Indigo Bunting. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 200, 600 mm, f/4, 1/400 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)


Fowler’s Toad. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Kermit the Bullfrog. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


May Flowers — Portrait Mode. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


May Flowers — Landscape Mode. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

White Poppy. Composite of 100 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 60 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 64, 60 mm, f/4, 1/30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
White Poppy. Composite of 100 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 60 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 64, 60 mm, f/4, 1/30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (56.1 kWh) from meter readings the Sense Home Energy Monitor. The daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (82.5 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Lots of sun. A surplus of 26.4 kWh.


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Monday (16-September-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

Daily walkabout with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens. It is late summer and has been dry. The back pond is almost dry. A long frog hiding in the mud next to the pond.

Lone frog hiding in the mud near the nearly dry pond. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens. (David J Mathre)
Lone frog hiding in the mud near the nearly dry pond. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens. (David J Mathre)

Daily Electric Energy Used (50.9 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (31.7 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. More clouds and still warm. The Geothermal HVAC used 7.3 kWh. Overall a net deficit of 19.2 kWh.

Current Weather Conditions

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Friday (06-September-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

Although we got a small amount of rain (0.26 inches) this week, the pond is very low. I am only seeing one or two frogs at this time. Not the dozens that were there a few weeks ago. I don’t know if they have moved onto another pond, or if there has been a predator. The ones that remain are very skittish and I can only get close enough to get pictures with the Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. The field of view for this camera at 300 mm is equivalent to 810 mm on a full frame camera.


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


Daily Electric Energy Used (36.9 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (14.9 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Very cloudy, and cooler for a net deficit of 22 kWh.

Current Weather Conditions

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Tuesday (20-August-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

Daily Walkabout, today with a Nikon D850 camera and 200-500 mm f/5.6 VR lens. This is the highest resolution camera in my collection, and the 200-500 mm VR lens light enough to shoot handheld for some time. Because of the heat, and lack of rain, the level of the pond has been shrinking. There a lot of skittish frogs. Two of them stayed still long enough to have their picture taken.

Kermit the Bullfrog. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 200-500 mm f/5.6 VR lens (ISO 280, 500 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Kermit the Bullfrog. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 200-500 mm f/5.6 VR lens (ISO 280, 500 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Kermit the Bullfrog. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 200-500 mm f/5.6 VR lens (ISO 1600, 500 mm, f/5.6, 1/800 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Kermit the Bullfrog. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 200-500 mm f/5.6 VR lens (ISO 1600, 500 mm, f/5.6, 1/800 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (62.3 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (61.2 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. The WaterFurnace geothermal HVAC had to work hard (25.6 kWh) because the temperature outside went to 90°F. Daily net deficit 1.1 kWh.

One note — the WaterFurnace Symphony software indicated the system used 14 kWh, however the Sense Energy monitor indicated that the geothermal heat pump used 25.6 kWh. I tend to believe the Sense numbers since they more closely the energy being recorded at the external power company (PSE&G) meters. I’ve asked the WaterFurnace folks in the past about the discrepancy, but they didn’t have a good answer. The Sense folks told me they thought that the WaterFurnace/Symphony system was only measuring one phase of the energy even though the system is powered by the 220V circut (using two phases). I wish an electrical engineer that understands this better would correct me here.

Current Weather Conditions

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