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. Lots of butterflies in the wildflower meadow. Silver-spotted Skipper, a pair of frisky Common Buckeye, a Monarch, and a Sulphur.

Silver-spotted Skipper Butterfly on a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 200-500 mm f/5.6 VR lens (ISO 320, 500 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Silver-spotted Skipper Butterfly on a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 200-500 mm f/5.6 VR lens (ISO 320, 500 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Pair of Frisky Common Buckeye Butterflies on a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 200-500 mm f/5.6 VR lens (ISO 320, 500 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Pair of Frisky Common Buckeye Butterflies on a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 200-500 mm f/5.6 VR lens (ISO 320, 500 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Pair of Frisky Common Buckeye Butterflies on a Zinnia Flower. Male with the tattered wings being rejected. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 200-500 mm f/5.6 VR lens (ISO 560, 500 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Pair of Frisky Common Buckeye Butterflies on a Zinnia Flower. Male with the tattered wings being rejected. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 200-500 mm f/5.6 VR lens (ISO 560, 500 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Cosmos Flower. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 200-500 mm f/5.6 VR lens (ISO 320, 500 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Cosmos Flower. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 200-500 mm f/5.6 VR lens (ISO 320, 500 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Sulphur Butterfly on an Orange Flower. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 200-500 mm f/5.6 VR lens (ISO 320, 500 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Sulphur Butterfly on an Orange Flower. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 200-500 mm f/5.6 VR lens (ISO 320, 500 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 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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Monday (19-August-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

Daily Walkabout, today with a Nikon Df camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. The thing I like about this camera is that it light for a DSLR, and has the same full-frame 35 mm sensor as the Nikon D4 camera. I have to admit that the camera failed on me once while in Antarctica when the shutter failed. The 70-300 mm lens is also relatively light. This post is about the butterflies. Great Spangled Fritillary, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Common Buckeye, Painted Lady, Sulphur, Silver-spotted Skipper, Frisky Skippers, Monarch, and Spicebush Swallowtail.


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


Daily Electric Energy Used (66.1 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (65.5 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Fewer clouds and more sun. The WaterFurnace geothermal HVAC had to work harder (25.6 kWh) because the temperature outside went above 90°F. Daily net deficit 0.6 kWh.

One note — the WaterFurnace Symphony software indicated the system used 16 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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Sunday (18-August-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

Daily Walkabout, today with a Leica CL camera and 55-135 mm lens. The thing I like about this camera is that it is lightweight and potentially a great travel camera. Most of the images were taken at 135 mm (field of view equivalent to 200 mm on a 35 mm sensor camera). It doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of some of my other cameras. I do need to take it out periodically just to maintain the brain and muscle memory to use it effectively. This is the longest zoom lens for the Leica TL and CL cameras. The Goldfinches are all over the smaller Sunflowers. They want the seeds fresh. A lot of butterflies were out working the wildflowers (Painted Lady, Sulphur, a pair of frisky Spicebush Swallowtails, and a pair of Monarch’s mating). The Monarch’s  were flying around paired together and I finally caught them resting in a pine tree from a distance.  I haven’t seen a hummingbird moth recently. Then some flowers (Backlit Red Sunflower, Bee Balm, a Red flower I haven’t identified yet, Partridge Pea with Pea Pods, a Zinnia, and a pair of small Yellow Sunflowers. Finally, the poisonous Poke Weed berries.


Click on the above image to access the individual images in the slide show.



Click on the above image to access the individual images in the slide show.


Sulphur Butterfly on a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Leica CL camera and 55-135 mm lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Sulphur Butterfly on a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Leica CL camera and 55-135 mm lens (DAVID J MATHRE)


Click on the above image to access the individual images in the slide show.


Pair of Monarch Butterflies Mating. Image taken with a Leica CL camera and 55-135 mm lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Pair of Monarch Butterflies Mating. Image taken with a Leica CL camera and 55-135 mm lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly. Image. taken with a Leica CL camera and 55-135 mm lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly. Image. taken with a Leica CL camera and 55-135 mm lens (DAVID J MATHRE)


Click on the above image to access the individual images in the slide show.


Poison Poke Weed Berries Image taken with a Leica CL camera and 55-135 mm lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Poison Poke Weed Berries Image taken with a Leica CL camera and 55-135 mm lens (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (61.1 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (51.2 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. More clouds and bit less Sun. The WaterFurnace geothermal HVAC had to work harder (25.7 kWh) because the temperature outside went above 90°F. Daily net deficit 9.9 kWh. Weekly totals  412 kWh used, 350 kWh produced. So far still ahead for the month of August, but will need some more sunny days

One note — the WaterFurnace Symphony software indicated the system used 14 kWh, however the Sense Energy monitor indicated that the geothermal heat pump used 25.7 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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Wednesday (14-August-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

Daily Walkabout: I went out with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. By sneaking out the backdoor of the garage I was able to catch a pair of Goldfinch feeding on the Sunflowers before they got spooked and flew away. Then lots of Butterflies (Various Skippers, Monarch, Tiger Swallowtail, Silver-spotted Skipper, Pearl Crescent, Painted Lady, Common Buckeye, and ). I have noticed many of the butterflies have ragged wings. Are they just getting old, or escaped being caught by a bird? It has been several days since I have seen a hummingbird moth.


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



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


Daily Electric Energy Used (53.5 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (29.8 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. The sky was cloudy most of the day (0.04 inches of rain) impacted the solar production. Daily net deficit 23.7 kWh.

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Tuesday (30-July-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

It’s hot outside so only a short walkabout with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens. Lots of flowers. The sunflowers look amazing. Butterflies including Monarch, Tiger Swallowtail, Silver-spotted Skipper, Common Buckeye, Painted Lady, and Peck’s Skipper (?). Only one Snowberry Clearwing Moth.

Purple Thistle Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens (David J Mathre)
Purple Thistle Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens (David J Mathre)
Red Coreopsis. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens (David J Mathre)
Red Coreopsis. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens (David J Mathre)


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



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


Snowberry Clearwing Moth in Flight above a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens (David J Mathre)
Snowberry Clearwing Moth in Flight above a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens (David J Mathre)

Daily Electric Energy Used (68.8 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (73.1 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. The temperatures have been going up outside, resulting in more energy (~29 kWh) needed for the Geothermal HVAC system to keep the house cool. Also, ran a load of laundry (3.3 kWh). Still a small daily surplus of 4.3 kWh.

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