Monday (01-July-2019) — New Jersey

First Day of July. Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

More wildflowers than what I know what to do with. THe deer are staying out of the electric fenced in wildflower meadows. They will nibble on any of the plants that grow out of the area. The Goldfinch love eating the Bachelor Buttons (Cornflowers). Also, lots of insects are attracted to the wildflowers. Some of the flowers include allium, baby’s breath, baby blue eyes, bachelor button (cornflower), black-eyed susan (coneflower), cosmos, coreopsis (calliopsis, tickseed), leopard bane, morning glory, poppy, siberian wallflower, sunflower, yucca, zinnia — and others that I haven’t identified.

Doe Outside the Electric Fence. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 500 mm f/4 VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Doe Outside the Electric Fence. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 500 mm f/4 VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)


Cosmos. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Cosmos. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (DAVID J MATHRE)














Daily Power Use (50.1 kWh) from Sense and Solar Production (87.6 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. You can see from the power graph, that there were very few clouds and this is about the maximum amount of solar power that my system can generate.

Current Weather Conditions

powered by Ambient Weather

Sunday (16-June-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

It appears that hover flies really like all of the poppies currently in bloom. In a small white poppy (Icelandic Poppy?) observed a tiny Praying Mantis eating a tiny Hover Fly. Even though I didn’t have a macro lens on the camera, I was able to crop the image to make the tiny insects visible. I have never seen a Praying Mantis this early in the season. Normally, I only see them when they are much larger in late July and August.

Small White Poppy with Hover Flies and a Praying Mantis. Image taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Small White Poppy with Hover Flies and a Praying Mantis. Image taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Small White Poppy with Hover Flies and a Praying Mantis. Image taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Small White Poppy with Hover Flies and a Praying Mantis. Image taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Small White Poppy with Hover Flies and a Praying Mantis. Image taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Small White Poppy with Hover Flies and a Praying Mantis. Image taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Small White Poppy with Hover Flies and a Praying Mantis. Image taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Small White Poppy with Hover Flies and a Praying Mantis. Image taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens (DAVID J MATHRE)

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.

Current Weather Conditions

powered by Ambient Weather

Five-Years Ago (09-February-2014) — Florida

Gone to See America 2014 Road Trip. Day 9: Clyde Butcher’s Swamp Cottage.

Welcome sign at Clyde Butcher’s Swamp Cottage. I then went for a walk and found a small alligator next to the back pond. If you look close there is an out of focus mosquito on the other side of the alligators head. It has to be pretty tough to get through the alligators skin. I was wary because I knew that momma alligator was probably nearby.

"Attack Mosquito on Duty" sign at Clyde Butchers Swamp Cottage. Big Cypress Swamp in Florida. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 70-200 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 800, 200 mm, f/4, 1/200 sec). (David J Mathre)
“Attack Mosquito on Duty” sign at Clyde Butchers Swamp Cottage. Big Cypress Swamp in Florida. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 70-200 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 800, 200 mm, f/4, 1/200 sec). (David J Mathre)
Small Alligator Next to the Back Pond at Clyde Butchers Swamp Cottage. Big Cypress Swamp in Florida. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 70-200 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 800, 190 mm, f/4, 1/50 sec). Image converted to B&W using Capture One Pro 7. (David J Mathre)
Small Alligator Next to the Back Pond at Clyde Butchers Swamp Cottage. Big Cypress Swamp in Florida. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 70-200 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 800, 190 mm, f/4, 1/50 sec). Image converted to B&W using Capture One Pro 7. (David J Mathre)

Thursday (07-February-2019) — New Jersey

Indoor and Outdoor Wintertime Nature in New Jersey.

I caught a Stink Bug in my indoor herb garden. I’ve read that they are vegetarians. Then a black crow just beyond my patio was acting as the lookout while his/her partner in crime raided the bird feeder.

alt_title. (David J Mathre)
Stink Bug. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 1600, 80 mm, f/18, 1/125 sec). (David J Mathre)


Friday (05-October-2018) — New Jersey

Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

I was working on my computer and noticed something large crawling up a window trying to get in the house. I quickly realized that it was a large green Praying Mantis. It walked right by a Stink Bug — turning up its nose. That’s too bad, as the Stink Bugs are making a major effort to get into the house before it gets much colder outside.

Praying Mantis trying to get in the house. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 800, 80 mm, f/5.6, 1/60 sec). (David J Mathre)
Praying Mantis trying to get in the house. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 800, 80 mm, f/5.6, 1/60 sec). (David J Mathre)


Praying Mantis set free on my Garden Tower. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 320, 80 mm, f/11, 1/60 sec). (David J Mathre)
Praying Mantis set free on my Garden Tower. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 320, 80 mm, f/11, 1/60 sec). (David J Mathre)