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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Thursday (21-May-2020) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

Birds of the Day — Blue Jay, Brown-headed Cowbird, House Finch, Northern Cardinal, Gray Catbird, and Eastern Phoebe. Lots of action at the Eastern Phoebe nest and both parents feed the new hatchlings. It will be interesting to see if they are all Eastern Phoebes or if the Brown-headed Cowbird left any of its eggs in the nest.


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

Spring flowers of the day include Rhododendron, Red Oriental Poppy, Five-spot, Allium, and Foxglove.


Spring Flowers of the Day — Portrait mode. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Spring Flowers of the Day — Landscape mode. 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 (50.3 kWh) from meter readings the Sense Home Energy Monitor. The daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (85.9 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Lots of sun in the morning with some clouds in the afternoon. A surplus of 35.6 kWh.



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Wednesday (20-May-2020) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

Birds of the Day — Blue Jay, Gray Catbird, American Goldfinch, and Eastern Phoebe. A whole bunch of American Goldfinch showed up today. The eggs in the Eastern Phoebe nest above my front door have started to hatch. The parents are now bringing insects, grubs, and worms to feed the hatchlings. I set up a video camera to monitor the nest.

Blue Jay. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens (ISO 1600, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/200 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Blue Jay. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens (ISO 1600, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/200 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Gray Catbird. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens (ISO 1100, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Gray Catbird. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens (ISO 1100, 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 telephoto lens (ISO 220, 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 telephoto lens (ISO 220, 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 telephoto lens (ISO 1000, 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 telephoto lens (ISO 1000, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Spring flowers of the day include Rhododendron, Red Oriental Poppy, Cosmos, and Foxglove. What I thought was a Gladiolus plant growing up through a crack in the patio blue-stones turned out to be a Foxglove plant.


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

I spent most of the day out 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 two time-lapse Little Planet videos.

Daily Electric Energy Used (46.3 kWh) from meter readings the Sense Home Energy Monitor. The daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (81.1 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Sun with some clouds. A surplus of 34.8 kWh.


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Tuesday (24-December-2019) — Florida

Gone to See Florida — 2019 Road Trip.

I arrived in St. Petersburg, Florida before lunchtime. The Chickens in the backyard urban garden loved the Broccoli leaves I brought from my indoor hydroponic AeroGarden Farm. My father pointed out that a bunch of Bananas were resting on top of a bee hive. My mother had some blooming orchids hanging from the Mango trees. She also had strawberry plants and berries in a Grow Tower that had been moved to the upper part of the driveway.

Hens feasting on Broccoli leaves from my indoor hydroponic garden in NJ. Urban garden & farm in St. Petersburg Florida. Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 35 mm, f/2.5, 1/250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Hens feasting on Broccoli leaves from my indoor hydroponic garden in NJ. Urban garden & farm in St. Petersburg Florida. Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 35 mm, f/2.5, 1/250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Bananas on a Bee Hive. Urban garden & farm in St. Petersburg Florida. Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 35 mm, f/2.8, 1/320 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Bananas on a Bee Hive. Urban garden & farm in St. Petersburg Florida. Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 35 mm, f/2.8, 1/320 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Orchid Flowers in the air. Urban garden & farm in St. Petersburg Florida. Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 35 mm, f/1.4, 1/100 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Orchid Flowers in the air. Urban garden & farm in St. Petersburg Florida. Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 35 mm, f/1.4, 1/100 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Strawberry Plants and Berries in a Grow Tower. Urban garden & farm in St. Petersburg Florida. Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/2.2 lens (ISO 100, 35 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Strawberry Plants and Berries in a Grow Tower. Urban garden & farm in St. Petersburg Florida. Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/2.2 lens (ISO 100, 35 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (45.3 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (33.6 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Overall a net deficit of 25.7 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.

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