Five-Years Ago (14-September-2013) — New Jersey

Backyard Late Summer Nighttime Sky Over New Jersey.

[Updated from five-years ago. Added a slideshow with the 25 individual frames extracted from the video.]

Last night the sky was clear, and the waxing gibbous moon (61%) bright, so I set up a couple of cameras with big lenses out on the deck. One of the systems (Nikon D4 camera TC-E III 20 teleconverter and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 400, 1200 mm, f/8, 1/60 sec)) was set to record video (1080p, 30 fps). While reviewing the videos I noticed one with something (a bird?) passing in front of the moon. Played back at 10 fps shows the transit to occur over 25 frames. The bird is not very clear, or in focus relative to the moon. Someday, I want to catch a satellite transiting in front of the moon.


Individual images from the slideshow can be viewed here.

Six-Years Ago (13-September-2012) — Belgium

Gone to see Europe. Semester at Sea. Fall 2012 Semester Voyage on the MV Explorer. Day 21: Antwerp, Belgium.

Early Dawn Jupiter and Waning Crescent Moon Over the Antwerp Cathedral from the Deck of the MV Explorer. Image taken with a Nikon D800 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 100, 70 mm, f/5.6, 2 sec).

Early Dawn Jupiter and Waning Crescent Moon Over the Antwerp Cathedral from the Deck of the M/V Explorer. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 100, 70 mm, f/5.6, 2 sec). (David J Mathre)
Early Dawn Jupiter and Waning Crescent Moon Over the Antwerp Cathedral from the Deck of the M/V Explorer. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 100, 70 mm, f/5.6, 2 sec). (David J Mathre)

Friday (20-July-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Day and Nighttime Nature in New Jersey.

While moving some of the wood being used build the stairway to my patio, I noticed some holes in the ground with a relatively large cicada larva. It had spent the last 13 or 17 years in the ground, and is waiting for a rain storm before crawling to the nearest tree. There it will crawl up and got through the final metamorphosis to the insect phase. We can expect the loud noise of the cicada in the near future as they look for a mate.

Cicada Larva just out of the ground. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Cicada Larva just out of the ground. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (DAVID J MATHRE)

Later in the afternoon, I saw a scruffy Cardinal at the bird feeder. Probably an immature bird just getting its adult red colored feathers. There were a large number of deer in the backyard. At least four fawns with spots,  four or more doe’s, and one buck with its new antlers.


After dark, I could see both the waxing gibbous moon and mars peaking in and out of the clouds. I couldn’t get both in the field of view with a Nikon D4 camera and 600 mm lens. Switching to a Nikon D850 camera and 500 mm lens I was just barely able to get both in the same image. The image of the moon was sharper with the Nikon D850 camera since it was shot with the mirror up, silent mode. With the exposure being used, Mars was just barely visible as a disk.

Waxing Gibbous Moon. Image taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 600 mm f/4 VRII telephoto lens (ISO 100, 600 mm, f/11, 1/100 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Waxing Gibbous Moon. Image taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 600 mm f/4 VRII telephoto lens (ISO 100, 600 mm, f/11, 1/100 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Waxing Gibbous Moon and Mars (tiny disk near the bottom of the image). Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 500 mm f/4 VRII telephoto lens (ISO 64, 500 mm, f/11, 1/125 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Waxing Gibbous Moon and Mars (tiny disk near the bottom of the image). Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 500 mm f/4 VRII telephoto lens (ISO 64, 500 mm, f/11, 1/125 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Waxing Gibbous Moon. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 500 mm f/4 VRII telephoto lens (ISO 64, 500 mm, f/11, 1/125 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Waxing Gibbous Moon. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 500 mm f/4 VRII telephoto lens (ISO 64, 500 mm, f/11, 1/125 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Mars. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 500 mm f/4 VRII telephoto lens (ISO 64, 500 mm, f/11, 1/125 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Mars. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 500 mm f/4 VRII telephoto lens (ISO 64, 500 mm, f/11, 1/125 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Two-Years Ago (22-March-2016) — Atlantic Ocean

Gone to See the World. Semester at Sea Spring 2016 Voyage on the MV World Odyssey. Day 77: At Sea, Atlantic Ocean.

This was a classroom day (B19) as we traveled northwest off the west coast of Africa (Namibia). We were far enough at sea that we didn’t see land. Images of Dawn, Sunrise, Student Portraits including the Sunrise Breakfast Club, the Statues, and then Students and other Passengers “Viewing, and Holding the Moon”. Individual images from the slide-shows can be viewed here.

Catching Venus at Dawn. Image taken with a Fuji X-T1 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens. (David J Mathre)
Catching Venus at Dawn. Image taken with a Fuji X-T1 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens. (David J Mathre)



Catching the Sun. Image taken with a Leica T camera and 23 mm f/2 lens. (David J Mathre)
Catching the Sun. Image taken with a Leica T camera and 23 mm f/2 lens. (David J Mathre)


Moon at Dusk over the Atlantic Ocean (Album Cover). Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (David J Mathre)
Moon at Dusk over the Atlantic Ocean (Album Cover). Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (David J Mathre)
Reaching for the Moon. Image taken with a Leica T camera and 55-135 mm lens. (David J Mathre)
Reaching for the Moon. Image taken with a Leica T camera and 55-135 mm lens. (David J Mathre)


 (David Mathre)
Google Earth Map of  the GPS Track for Day 77. Contact me for the Route Coordinates. (David J Mathre)

Two-Years Ago (17-January-2016) — Pacific Ocean

Gone to See the World. Semester at Sea Spring 2016 Voyage on the MV World Odyssey. Day 12: Crossing the Pacific Ocean From Hawaii to Japan.

This was the day that magic happened. We lost a day, 16-Jan-16 never happened. Look at the images carefully to find the alien pretending to be a student on the voyage, and when gravity was suspended. Too bad if anyone on the ship had their birthday on the missing day.



Individual images in this slide show can be viewed here.



Individual images in the slide show can be viewed here.

Outdoor breakfast after shooting dawn and sunrise on the deck of the MV World Odyssey. Image taken with a Fuji X-T1 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 200, 35 mm, f/7, 1/125 sec). (David J Mathre)
Outdoor breakfast after shooting dawn and sunrise on the deck of the MV World Odyssey. Image taken with a Fuji X-T1 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 200, 35 mm, f/7, 1/125 sec). (David J Mathre)



Individual images in the slide show can be viewed here.

First Quarter Moon from the deck of the MV World Odyssey. Image taken with a Nikon One V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/250 sec). Field of View equivalent to an 810 mm lens on a 35 mm sensor camera. (David J Mathre)
First Quarter Moon from the deck of the MV World Odyssey. Image taken with a Nikon One V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/250 sec). Field of View equivalent to an 810 mm lens on a 35 mm sensor camera. (David J Mathre)

We crossed the International Date Line (180 degrees) east or west (or half way around the planet) from the zero degree line going through Greenwich, England.  We actually, didn’t cross the line until 13:19 but the Captain of the ship gets to select which day we cross datelines so as not to confuse things in the middle of the day.