Monday (24-August-2020) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

I spent the morning working on the patio (time-lapse little planet video). The Grow Towers are doing well. I’ve been harvesting large radishes, broccoli rabe, Swiss chard, and dill. Zinnia and Coreopsis are blooming in the outer cloth pots. I planted Marigold and Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) in the inner set of cloth pots. No Marigold flowers yet, and five of the Roselle are growing fast. Several volunteer tomatillo and/or ground cherry plants also sprouted in the inner set of cloth pots.

A herd of deer passed through the backyard just before it started to rain. Then before the sun went down I noticed a partial double rainbow.


Deer in the Backyard. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Partial Double Rainbow. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Daily Electric Energy Used (62.7 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (62.0 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. More sun and a bit of rain. A deficit of 0.7 kWh.

Sunday (29-December-2019) — Florida

Gone to See Florida — 2019 Road Trip.

The extended family got together for a holiday celebration on Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s day. Lots of food and time to go walkabout in the urban garden. The Hibiscus flower series is a study of depth of field vs. len aperture (f/2.8, 1/500 sec; f/4, 1/250 sec; f/5.6, 1/125 sec; f/8, 1/60 sec, f/11, 1/30 sec; f/16, 1/15 sec).


Click on the above image to access my PhotoShelter gallery with the individual images in the following slideshow.



Click on the above image to access my PhotoShelter gallery with the individual images in the following slideshow.



Click on the above image to access my PhotoShelter gallery with the individual images in the following slideshow.


Daily Electric Energy Used (28.3 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (7.8 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. The outdoor temperatures went down and the sun was hiding. A deficit of 20.5 kWh. Most of the hydroponic gardens were off or only on for fewer hours. Also, the thermostat for the Geothermal heater and hybrid heat pump hot water heater were set for vacation mode.

Current Weather Conditions

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Sunday (16-June-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

Wildflowers in bloom and my urban garden. The yucca plant sent shoots up to flower. The local deer really like these, and if I don’t catch and protect the shoots I don’t get any of the yucca flowers. These flowers bloom at night, around a full moon and attract some large moths. Lots of red poppies and cosmos flowers. Other flowers include the blue spiderworts (open for a day, every day new ones), cornflowers (bachelor buttons — attract goldfinches), morning glory vines, and daisy’s. The garden towers are full of fruits and vegetables. One of my sunflower plants is taller than I am. It is also supporting a burma gourd (water gourd plant) that I hope to get some gourds this year.







Daily Power Use (74.2 kWh) from Sense and Solar Production (42.05 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Power use is up since I reduced the indoor temperature provided by the WaterFurnace Geothermal HVAC system. Will raise the indoor temperature to 72°F for tomorrow. The power was also out for a little over one hour in the morning. For safety/code reasons, if the PSE&G power is down, my solar panels are disconnected from the grid. I’m thinking of getting a couple of Tesla PowerWall batteries so this doesn’t happen in the future.

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Thursday (25-October-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Autumn Nature in New Jersey.

I woke up at 05:30. It was cold out, right around freezing and the sky clear with no clouds. I set up the Garmin VIRB-360 camera to record dawn and sunrise as practice for a day that I may get some colorful clouds. I used the camera again as I picked the remaining hot peppers (still green). The plants are pretty much dead after several nights when the temperatures dipped below freezing. I haven’t decided if I will use the remaining peppers for a salsa or will just dry them. Later in the afternoon I watched the ever busy squirrels hiding their acorns. This year the deer are also competing for acorns.

Time-Lapse Video: Tunnel View — Dawn and Sunrise. Garmin VIRB-360 Camera.

Time-Lapse Video: Little Planet View — Picking Green Hot Peppers. Garmin VIRB-360 Camera.


Individual images in the slideshow can be viewed here.

Thursday (23-August-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

I finally discovered that it is the Grey Catbirds that are pecking at the tomatoes in my patio garden. Over half of the ripe tomatoes that picked today had been eaten by the Catbirds. Too bad the neighborhood cats that patrol my patio haven’t caught onto this opportunity.

Grey Catbird pecking at my tomatoes. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 70-300 mm VR telephoto zoom lens (ISO 450, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Grey Catbird pecking at my tomatoes. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 70-300 mm VR telephoto zoom lens (ISO 450, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)