Friday (06-September-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

Although we got a small amount of rain (0.26 inches) this week, the pond is very low. I am only seeing one or two frogs at this time. Not the dozens that were there a few weeks ago. I don’t know if they have moved onto another pond, or if there has been a predator. The ones that remain are very skittish and I can only get close enough to get pictures with the Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. The field of view for this camera at 300 mm is equivalent to 810 mm on a full frame camera.


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


Daily Electric Energy Used (36.9 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (14.9 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Very cloudy, and cooler for a net deficit of 22 kWh.

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Saturday (24-August-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

It was much cooler, so I spent the morning catching up on yard work. The electric fence (not charged yet) is already helping the Forsythia and Lilac shrubs we planted earlier this spring. They have new leaves that the deer haven’t nibbled. I am in the process of installing a drip hose to water both these shrubs and the daffodil patch (using rainwater collected in barrels). The grass hadn’t been mowed in two weeks, so that also had to be done. Also lots of mile-a-minute vine weeds needed to be pulled. The walkway from the front to the patio was overgrown with tall Cosmos and Sunflowers that needed to be trimmed back. Time-lapse video recorded with a Garmin VIRB-360 camera and the video processed with Photoshop CC (including the Little Planet view).

After the yard work I did my daily walkabout with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. The deer wondered why I mowed their lawn. In addition to the last week being hot, we only got 0.42 inches of rain. The water level in the pond is way down. Kermit the Bullfrog was only partially submerged in the middle of the pond in a section that is normally a couple feet deep. I only saw one Hummingbird Clearwing moth (white legs) feeding on a Bee Balm flower. The only recent new flower is a bright red Indian Paintbrush. Finally a beat up Monarch butterfly.

Fawn and Doe. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)
Fawn and Doe. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)
Kermit the Bullfrog in the Pond. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 800, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/200 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)
Kermit the Bullfrog in the Pond. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 800, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/200 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)
Hummingbird Clearwing moth feeding on a Bee Balm flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 800, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/160 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)
Hummingbird Clearwing moth feeding on a Bee Balm flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 800, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/160 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)
Indian Paintbrush Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 800, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/160 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)
Indian Paintbrush Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 800, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/160 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec) (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (48.2 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (71.9 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Cooler outside and the sun was out most of the day for a net surplus of 23.7 kWh. Laundry used 3.7 kWh.

One note — the WaterFurnace Symphony software indicated the system used 3 kWh, however the Sense Energy monitor indicated that the geothermal heat pump used 5.4 kWh. I tend to believe the Sense numbers since they more closely the energy being recorded at the external power company (PSE&G) meters. I’ve asked the WaterFurnace folks in the past about the discrepancy, but they didn’t have a good answer. The Sense folks told me they thought that the WaterFurnace/Symphony system was only measuring one phase of the energy even though the system is powered by the 220V circuit (using two phases). I wish an electrical engineer that understands this better would correct me here.

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Thursday (22-August-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

Daily Walkabout, today with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. My favorite lightweight kit, with plenty of reach. The Snowberry Clearwing Moths (with the black legs) are back. They also like the Bee Balm flowers. Monarch Butterfly feeding on a Marigold flower, and Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly feeding on a Zinnia flower. There has been rain all around us, but not here. The pond level is down, and the frogs are skittish. A small sparrow (LBJ) and a fawn trying to hide behind some grass.

Snowberry Clearwing Moth feeding on a Bee Balm flower. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Snowberry Clearwing Moth feeding on a Bee Balm flower. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Snowberry Clearwing Moth feeding on a Bee Balm flower. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Snowberry Clearwing Moth feeding on a Bee Balm flower. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch butterfly feeding on a Marigold flower. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch butterfly feeding on a Marigold flower. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly feeding on a Zinnia flower. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly feeding on a Zinnia flower. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Kermit the Bullfrog. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Kermit the Bullfrog. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Little Sparrow. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Little Sparrow. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Fawn Hiding Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Fawn Hiding Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (59.7 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (61.3 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. The WaterFurnace geothermal HVAC had to work hard (25 kWh) because the temperature outside went above 90°F. A bit more sun so a net surplus of 0.6 kWh. Cooler weather expected tomorrow!

One note — the WaterFurnace Symphony software indicated the system used 15 kWh, however the Sense Energy monitor indicated that the geothermal heat pump used 25 kWh. I tend to believe the Sense numbers since they more closely the energy being recorded at the external power company (PSE&G) meters. I’ve asked the WaterFurnace folks in the past about the discrepancy, but they didn’t have a good answer. The Sense folks told me they thought that the WaterFurnace/Symphony system was only measuring one phase of the energy even though the system is powered by the 220V circut (using two phases). I wish an electrical engineer that understands this better would correct me here.

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Tuesday (20-August-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

Daily Walkabout, today with a Nikon D850 camera and 200-500 mm f/5.6 VR lens. This is the highest resolution camera in my collection, and the 200-500 mm VR lens light enough to shoot handheld for some time. Because of the heat, and lack of rain, the level of the pond has been shrinking. There a lot of skittish frogs. Two of them stayed still long enough to have their picture taken.

Kermit the Bullfrog. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 200-500 mm f/5.6 VR lens (ISO 280, 500 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Kermit the Bullfrog. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 200-500 mm f/5.6 VR lens (ISO 280, 500 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Kermit the Bullfrog. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 200-500 mm f/5.6 VR lens (ISO 1600, 500 mm, f/5.6, 1/800 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Kermit the Bullfrog. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 200-500 mm f/5.6 VR lens (ISO 1600, 500 mm, f/5.6, 1/800 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (62.3 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (61.2 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. The WaterFurnace geothermal HVAC had to work hard (25.6 kWh) because the temperature outside went to 90°F. Daily net deficit 1.1 kWh.

One note — the WaterFurnace Symphony software indicated the system used 14 kWh, however the Sense Energy monitor indicated that the geothermal heat pump used 25.6 kWh. I tend to believe the Sense numbers since they more closely the energy being recorded at the external power company (PSE&G) meters. I’ve asked the WaterFurnace folks in the past about the discrepancy, but they didn’t have a good answer. The Sense folks told me they thought that the WaterFurnace/Symphony system was only measuring one phase of the energy even though the system is powered by the 220V circut (using two phases). I wish an electrical engineer that understands this better would correct me here.

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Thursday (08-August-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

Daily Walkabout: I went out with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens. Flowers (Poppy, Zinnia, Bee Balm, Larkspur, Sunflowers), Insects (Silver-spotted Skipper, Tiger Swallowtail, Painted Lady, Common Buckeye, Bumblebee, Snowberry Clearwing Moth, Eastern Leaf-footed Bug), and Frogs (Kermit the one-eyed Bullfrog). I didn’t notice the pair of Eastern Leaf-footed Bugs mating on the Thistle flower until processing the images.


Flowers. Click on the above image to access the individual images from the slideshow.



Butterflies, Moths, Bees, and Eastern Leaf-footed Bug. Click on the above image to access the individual images from the slideshow.



Kermit the One-eyed Bullfrog. Click on the above image to access the individual images from the slideshow.


Daily Electric Energy Used (57.5 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (64.9 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Daily net surplus 7.4 kWh.

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