Friday (12-October-2018) — New Jersey

Home Renovation Project: Back Patio.

The remnants of Hurricane Michael blew through last night with about 0.45 inches (11 mm) of rain. The temperature dropped to the mid 60’s, and this morning the sky was clear with a bright sun. Today may be the first day this month that my solar panels generate more electricity that I use.  Alan and Lincoln installed the railings for the rear door landing to the patio. Still more to do, but the project is getting a lot closer to being complete. While they were working on the railings I mowed the lawn, and got some pictures of a Monarch Butterfly in my Zinnia patch.

Garmin VIRB-360 Time-Lapse Video (360 degree panorama, little planet, tunnel view) 720p 24p.


Individual images in the slideshow can be viewed here.

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.

Sunday (30-September-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Autumn Nature in New Jersey.

Now that the sun is back out, I noticed a Monarch Butterfly feeding on my small Zinnia flowers. It needs to leave for Mexico pretty soon, as it is starting to get cool at night. I had to use the jpg image, because neither Adobe or Capture One recognize the raw files from the Fuji X-T3 camera.

Update: The latest update to Capture One (11.3) does recognize the raw file. The pink flower is not overblown when Capture One was used to reprocess the image. Also, when I reviewed my image database I found images of Monarch Butterflies from late October last year.

Monarch Butterfly on a Pink Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 100-400 mm OIS telephoto zoom lens (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)
Monarch Butterfly on a Pink Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 100-400 mm OIS telephoto zoom lens (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec). JPG image processed with Capture One Pro. (David J Mathre)
Monarch Butterfly on a Pink Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 100-400 mm OIS telephoto zoom lens (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro. (David J Mathre)
Monarch Butterfly on a Pink Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 100-400 mm OIS telephoto zoom lens (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro. (David J Mathre)

Sunday (19-August-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

It rained most of the morning, so I wasn’t able to get out until the afternoon to check out the garden towers on the patio. Between the timed sprinklers and all of the rain while I was in Germany, most of the plants survived. Indeed lots of invasive weeds and vines. I was able to pick  the ripe Italian and Cherry tomatoes. I had to discard a bunch of the tomatoes that had rotted. There were some giant cucumbers that I missed before traveling. A number of the hot peppers turned red, so I also picked them. There were flowers blooming on the morning-glory vines growing up the trellis on my chimney.

Monarch Butterfly on a Pink Zinnia Bloom. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Pink Zinnia Bloom. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Garden Tower Harvest (Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Hot Peppers). Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Garden Tower Harvest (Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Hot Peppers). Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Garden Tower Harvest (Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Hot Peppers). Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Garden Tower Harvest (Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Hot Peppers). Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Morning Glory Blooms on the Chimney Trellis. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Morning Glory Blooms on the Chimney Trellis. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tree Fungus. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tree Fungus. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Horned Worm remnants after being eating by tiny wasp parasites. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Horned Worm remnants after being eating by tiny wasp parasites. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)

Saturday (18-August-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

I’m back from a 10-day trip to Germany. It was hot and dry in Germany, but apparently hot and wet in New Jersey. The grass needs to be mowed, the weeds need to be pulled, and the patio garden cleaned up. Some of the tomatoes are ripe, but others rotted. The tomato leaves are turning yellow (too much water, or need nitrogen fertilizer?).  Several of the hot peppers are bright red and ready to be picked. There was one remaining yellow squash, and two white eggplants. The wildflower garden continues to attract butterflies and bees. This was the first female black swallowtail butterfly that I have seen this season. A bumblebee was pollinating the basil flowers. There were several Monarch butterflies feeding on the zinnia wildflowers. I also made a quick trip to the local weekly farmers market. It is smaller than the daily markets I saw at several public squares in Germany.

Female Black Swallowtail Butterfly. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/4, 1/950 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Female Black Swallowtail Butterfly. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/4, 1/950 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Bumblebee on Basil Flowers. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/4, 1/1100 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Bumblebee on Basil Flowers. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/4, 1/1100 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)