Tuesday (02-July-2019) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Since I knew it was going to be hot out, I went out early to pull the invasive “mile-a-minute” vine from the section planted with daffodils. The daffodil flowers are long gone for this year and the section is getting full of weeds. While working outside, I wear a cotton jumpsuit to avoid being bitten by a tick. Been there, done that, don’t want it to happen again. I filled up a wagon load of the “mile-a-minute” vine before I got too hot. While pulling the weeds, I came across a toad that was living under the weeds. I decided to use a Leica CL as my main camera for the day. The following two images were taken using the 18-56 mm lens. The wildflower, and wildflower with insects images were taken with the 55-135 mm lens, and finally the rainbow image was taken with the 11-23 mm lens.

Mile-a-minute Vines. Image taken with a Leica CL camera and 18-55 mm, 55-135, or 11-23 mm lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Mile-a-minute Vines. Image taken with a Leica CL camera and 18-55 mm, 55-135, or 11-23 mm lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Toad. Image taken with a Leica CL camera and 18-55 mm, 55-135, or 11-23 mm lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Toad. Image taken with a Leica CL camera and 18-55 mm, 55-135, or 11-23 mm lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)

Click on the above image to access individual images in the wildflower gallery.


Click on the above image to access individual images in the insect gallery.


Backyard Evening Rainbow over the Weather Station. After the Thunderstorm. Image taken with a Leica CL camera and 11-23 mm lens (ISO 100, 11 mm, f/4.5, 1/640 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Backyard Evening Rainbow over the Weather Station. After the Thunderstorm. Image taken with a Leica CL camera and 11-23 mm lens (ISO 100, 11 mm, f/4.5, 1/640 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro. (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Power Use (54.9 kWh) from Sense and Solar Production (66.5 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. The outside temperatures were high, so the geothermal HVAC system was working hard.

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Eleven-Years Ago (08-October-2007) — New Jersey

Autumn Nature in New Jersey.

Monarch Butterfly. Eleven-years ago while driving home from work I saw purple wild flowers on the side of the road at an abandoned golf course in Hillsborough. I pulled over to see if there was a picture. The purple wildflowers attracted dozens of Monarch butterflies providing more colors.  I took this image with my favorite 80-400 mm telephoto zoom lens. The hard part was working at the minimum focus distance for the lens (~ 7 feet). I needed to keep stepping back to get the image in focus. One more reason I always have a camera with me.

Every year after that I would check the place at the same time of the year, but never saw as many wildflowers or Monarch Butterflies. The last several years the place became a construction site for a highway bypass and interchange. Now that the construction is complete and the bypass open, it looks like wildflowers may come back. We will see if the Monarch Butterflies come back in the future.

Monarch Butterfly. Late Fall Nature in Central New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 80-400 mm VR lens (ISO 100, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Monarch Butterfly. Late Fall Nature in Central New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 80-400 mm VR lens (ISO 100, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)


Individual images in the slideshow can be viewed here.

Four-Years Ago (15-August-2012) — New Jersey

Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

Summer Insects at the Sourland Mountain Preserve and my backyard. Images taken with a Nikon N1 V1 + FT1 + 70-300 VR lens.

  1. Katydid (looks like a leaf)
  2. Dragonfly
  3. Tiger and Black (or Spicebush)  Swallowtail
  4. Large Milkweed Bugs on Milkweed Seed Pods
  5. Large Milkweed Bugs on Milkweed Seed Pods
  6. Large Milkweed Bugs on Milkweed Seed Pods
  7. Great Spangled Fritillary
  8. Locust
  9. Robber Fly (with prey)
  10. Bumble Bee


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


Nine-Years Ago (11-August-2007) — New Jersey

Backyard and Sourland Mountain Preserve Nature in New Jersey.

An album of summertime  nature images from my backyard and the Sourland Mountain Preserve using a Nikon D2xs camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens.


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


Friday (26-June-2015) — New Jersey

Backyard Nighttime Nature in New Jersey.

After the rain stopped last night I put two cameras out to capture some firefly trails early this morning. The first one is a composite of 300 images taken with a Nikon D4 camera and a 600 mm f/4 lens (ISO 3200, 600 mm, f/8, 30 sec). The second one is a composite of 90 images taken with a Nikon D810A camera and a 200 mm f/2 lens (ISO 3200, 200 mm, f/8, 60 sec). You really need to look at the 2nd one in full-screen mode.

One trick for doing the firefly trails is picking the aperture and focus distance. This impacts the number of fireflies that are in or out of focus. I really like the D810a camera since I can do exposures longer than 30 seconds without an intervalometer. Also, the sensor seems to be able to handle longer exposures without generating excess noise (even when it is warm outside).

Firefly Trails. Composite of images taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 3200, 600 mm, f/8, 30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro 8, and Photoshop CC. (David J Mathre)
Firefly Trails. Composite of images taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 3200, 600 mm, f/8, 30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro 8, and Photoshop CC. (David J Mathre)
Firefly Trails. Composite of images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 200 mm f/2 VR lens (ISO 3200, 200 mm, f/8, 60 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro 8, and Photoshop CC. (David J Mathre)
Firefly Trails. Composite of images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 200 mm f/2 VR lens (ISO 3200, 200 mm, f/8, 60 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro 8, and Photoshop CC. (David J Mathre)