Friday (30-October-2020) — New Jersey

Autumn Backyard Nighttime Nature in New Jersey.

In New Jersey, the night before Halloween has sometimes been called “Mischief Night” where teenagers engage in pranks and vandalism — throwing eggs, toilet papering trees, setting fires, etc. Well this year, a deer got up on my patio and did the mischief. It ate the Kale, Swiss Chard, Broccoli Rabe, Parsley, Basil, Thyme, and Strawberry plants in my Grow Towers. It ate the leaves on the Hot Pepper plants, but left me the Hot Peppers. It wasn’t able to reach the Carrots and Garlic on the top level. It also managed to disturb and damage some of the soft pots and other items out on the patio as it moved around each of the ten Grow Towers.

Daily Electric Energy Used (??? kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (14.2 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Cloudy and rain. A deficit of ??? kWh. The folks at Sense have been have issues providing energy usage data for the last several days.

Tuesday (15-September-2020) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Out working on the patio, I harvested the Broccoli Rabe and Radishes in the Grow Towers. This opened up light for the Basil and Pepper plants. I also distributed worms in to the composting tubes in each Grow Tower. I used the Ricoh Theta Z1 360 degree camera to make time-lapse Little Planet videos of the work on the patio. Same workflow as yesterday: Theta Z1 Camera set to record images using program auto mode (shutter, aperture, white-balance, JPG + RAW (DNG) every 10 seconds. Camera mounted on a tripod just above head level. The camera collected ~ 360 images (~ 1 hour) before running out of internal storage space. The DNG dual fisheye images were processed with Capture One Pro, saved in TIF format. Then converted to 360 degree equirectangular pano images with PTGUI (batch process). The Little Planet time-lapse video was created using PhotoShop CC (image converted to 1:1 format (7430 x 7430), rotated 180 degrees, converted to polar coordinates, then exported as a MP4 video (1920 x 1920, 10p). Rotation to the video was added using Premiere Pro.

Daily Electric Energy Used (39.7 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (52.1 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. More sun. A surplus of 12.4 kWh.

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.

Friday (26-June-2020) — New Jersey

Early Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Birds of the Day: American Goldfinch, LBJ, Tufted Titmouse, and Chipping Sparrow. Not sure if the LBJ is a female/immature House Finch, or female/immature Brown-headed Cowbird.

American Goldfinch. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 450, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)
American Goldfinch. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 450, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)
LBJ (not sure if it is a female/immature House Finch or female/immature Brown-headed Cowbird). Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 450, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)
LBJ (not sure if it is a female/immature House Finch or female/immature Brown-headed Cowbird). Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 450, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tufted Titmouse. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 450, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tufted Titmouse. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 450, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)
Chipping Sparrow. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 450, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)
Chipping Sparrow. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 450, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)

Early Summer Wildflowers: It appears that at least one Sunflower self-seeded, and grew high enough to bloom out of reach of the ravenous deer. I’ve seen several other sunflower plants clipped off before they could bloom. It looks like the bee (Bumblebee) likes Sunflower pollen.

Bee collecting pollen on a Sunflower. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 800, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Bee collecting pollen on a Sunflower. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 800, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Bee collecting pollen on a Sunflower. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 800, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Bee collecting pollen on a Sunflower. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 800, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Spent some time in the morning working on the patio Grow Towers. Still several to set up and plant.

Daily Electric Energy Used (53.3 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (78.3 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Sun and intermittent clouds. A surplus of 25.0 kWh. The solar panels continue to produce more energy than required to keep the house cool with the energy efficient Geothermal HVAC system.


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Friday (22-May-2020) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

Birds of the Day — Brown-headed Cowbird, House Finch, Northern Cardinal, Mourning Dove, American Goldfinch, and Eastern Phoebe. It seems like there are a number of juvenile birds showing up. There continues to be lots of action at the Eastern Phoebe nest with both parents feed the new hatchlings.


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


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

Spring flowers of the day — Yellow and Orange California Poppy, Red, and Oriental Poppy, Rhododendron


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

I spent the afternoon on the patio assembling the new Grow Towers and transplanting the indoor hydroponic strawberry plants to the outdoor Grow Towers. The activity was recorded by a Garmin VIRB-360 camera and used to create a time-lapse Little Planet video.

Daily Electric Energy Used (47.6 kWh) from meter readings the Sense Home Energy Monitor. The daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (39.9 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Cloudy much of the day. A deficit 0f 7.7 kWh.


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