Wednesday (16-September-2020) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

While out mowing the yard, one of the Trolls guarded a Mushroom growing in the backyard. After mowing, I cleared some of the invasive “mile-a-minute” vines, and came across a Praying Mantis. I tried to move it to safety, and if female hope it is able to lay eggs for next year.

Troll guarding a Mushroom. (David J Mathre)
Troll guarding a Mushroom while I mow the lawn. Image taken with a Leica SL2 camera and 24-90 mm lens. (David J Mathre)
Praying Mantis. (David J Mathre)
Praying Mantis. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (David J Mathre)

Afternoon at the Birdfeeders: Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Gray Catbird, House Finch, American Goldfinch, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.


Afternoon at the Birdfeeders. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Contact me if you are interested in a Time-lapse Video of the Afternoon session at the Birdfeeders. My setup for the birdfeeder images is a Nikon D850 camera and 200 mm f/2 VR lens set to take one image every 5 seconds over a 5 hour period (~3600 images). The new time-lapse video format is 720p (1080 x 720 pixels) and 1 frame/second. The length of the video is about 1 hour in a 1 GB MP4 file. The previous time-lapse videos of the birdfeeders were at 12 frames/second, and to be honest were too fast to identify the birds.

Daily Electric Energy Used (41.0 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (47.2 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. More sun. A surplus of 6.2 kWh.

Thursday (05-September-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

Even though it has been relatively dry, I noticed one of the outdoor trolls happy to find a mushroom that popped up overnight. While set up with the Nikon D850 camera with a 105 mm f/1.4 lens on a tripod to a focus-stacked portrait session, two garter snakes passed by next to my feet. I needed another camera, but didn’t have one with me. ARRG! The troll did jump up on top of the mushroom when it saw the snakes.

Happy Troll guarding his Mushroom. Composite of 50 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 64, 105 mm, f/1.8, 1/2500 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro Helicon Focus (method C, smoothing, 4). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Happy Troll guarding his Mushroom. Composite of 50 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 64, 105 mm, f/1.8, 1/2500 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro Helicon Focus (method C, smoothing, 4). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Happy Troll guarding his Mushroom. Composite of 70 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 64, 105 mm, f/2.8, 1/1000 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro Helicon Focus (method C, smoothing, 4). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Happy Troll guarding his Mushroom. Composite of 70 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 64, 105 mm, f/2.8, 1/1000 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro Helicon Focus (method C, smoothing, 4). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Happy Troll standing on his Mushroom. Composite of 70 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 64, 105 mm, f/2.8, 1/500 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro Helicon Focus (method C, smoothing, 4). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Happy Troll standing on his Mushroom. Composite of 70 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 64, 105 mm, f/2.8, 1/500 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro Helicon Focus (method C, smoothing, 4). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (37.4 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (41.8 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. More clouds, and cooler for a net surplus of 4.4 kWh.

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Sunday (18-August-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

The troll mushroom hunters found two big ones. It has been hot and humid the last several days, but no rain.

Mushroom Hunting Trolls found a Big One. Image taken with a Leica CL camera and 55-135 mm lens (ISO 100, 135 mm, f/4.5, 1/500 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Mushroom Hunting Trolls found a Big One. Image taken with a Leica CL camera and 55-135 mm lens (ISO 100, 135 mm, f/4.5, 1/500 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Mushroom Hunting Trolls found a Big One. Image taken with a Leica CL camera and 55-135 mm lens (ISO 320, 135 mm, f/8, 1/250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Mushroom Hunting Trolls found a second Big One. Image taken with a Leica CL camera and 55-135 mm lens (ISO 320, 135 mm, f/8, 1/250 sec). (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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Friday (09-August-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

Daily Walkabout: I came upon a pair of Trolls that found a large Mushroom rising from the pile of black wood chip mulch.

Hiking Trolls Discover Large Mushroom. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 64, 105 mm, f/5.6, 1/160 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Hiking Trolls Discover Large Mushroom. Image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 64, 105 mm, f/5.6, 1/160 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (57.2 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (69.3 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Load of laundry (4.4 kWh) adding to the total used. Daily net surplus 12.1 kWh.

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Ten-Years Ago (10-October-2008) — California

Gone to See America October 2008 Road Trip. Eighth Annual Nikonian Photography Adventure Trip. Day 6: Yosemite National Park.

On the last day of ANPAT 8, we did a walkabout in Yosemite Valley. First, we visited the smallest waterfall in the valley at Fern Spring. It is just off the road and in the shade. Well worth taking the time to visit and photograph. I also got some images of mushrooms/tree fungi. While I was busy with the mushrooms, the rest of the group tried to get a picture of a small brown bear running to the Merced river.

 (David J Mathre)
Fern Falls in Yosemite Valley. Image taken with a Nikon D3 camera and 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 42 mm, f/16, 1/2 sec). (David J Mathre)
Yosemite's Smallest Waterfall at Fern Spring. Image taken with a Nikon D3 and 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 70 mm, f/16, 5 sec). (David J Mathre)
Yosemite’s Smallest Waterfall at Fern Spring. Image taken with a Nikon D3 and 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 70 mm, f/16, 5 sec). (David J Mathre)
Tree Fungus in Yosemite National Park. Image taken with a Nikon D3 and 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 35 mm, f/16, 4 sec). (David J Mathre)
Tree Fungus in Yosemite National Park. Image taken with a Nikon D3 camera and 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 35 mm, f/16, 4 sec). (David J Mathre)
Tree Fungus in Yosemite National Park. Image taken with a Nikon D3 and 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 35 mm, f/16, 4 sec). (David J Mathre)
Tree Fungus in Yosemite National Park. Image taken with a Nikon D3 camera and 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 35 mm, f/16, 4 sec). (David J Mathre)