Saturday (13-June-2020) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

I caught a Brown-headed Cowbird on video forcing her way onto the Eastern Phoebe nest to lay an egg. The Eastern Phoebe was sitting on the nest at the time, and since she was smaller was not able to prevent the parasitic egg laying event.

Daily Electric Energy Used (42.1 kWh) from meter reading. The daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (90.5 kWh) from meter reading. Much more sun. A surplus of 48.4 kWh.


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Tuesday (02-June-2020) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

First Butterfly of the season — an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail feeding on the Rhododendron flowers.

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly feeding on Rhododendron flowers. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 70-300 mm lens (ISO 500, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly feeding on Rhododendron flowers. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 70-300 mm lens (ISO 500, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Birds of the Day — Gray Catbird, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, and Eastern Phoebe. The large nestling, in the Eastern Phoebe nest was finally convinced to jump out of the nest. The now fledgling spent the night on a cardboard box just under the nest. I suspect the fledgling is a Brown-headed Cowbird (later confirmed by the reviewers from eBird).


cBirds of the Day. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Eastern Phoebe Nest with a Brown-headed Cowbird chick. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Spring flowers of the day — Red, Pink, Icelandic, Oriental, and California Poppies. White Allium, Foxglove, Bachelor Button, Cornflower, Baby Blue Eyes, Spiderwort, Johnny Jump Up, Love-in-a-Mist, Evening Primrose, Daisy, Sweet William, Lance-leaf Coreopsis, Beard Tongue, Baby’s Breath, Rhododendron, and Tulip Tree.


Poppies — Landscape. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Poppies — Portrait. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Spring Flowers — Landscape. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Spring Flowers — Portrait. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Daily Electric Energy Used (40.5 kWh) from meter readings the Sense Home Energy Monitor. The daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (48.6 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Lots of clouds during the day. A surplus of 8.1 kWh.


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Wednesday (20-May-2020) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

Birds of the Day — Blue Jay, Gray Catbird, American Goldfinch, and Eastern Phoebe. A whole bunch of American Goldfinch showed up today. The eggs in the Eastern Phoebe nest above my front door have started to hatch. The parents are now bringing insects, grubs, and worms to feed the hatchlings. I set up a video camera to monitor the nest.

Blue Jay. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens (ISO 1600, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/200 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Blue Jay. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens (ISO 1600, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/200 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Gray Catbird. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens (ISO 1100, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Gray Catbird. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens (ISO 1100, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
American Goldfinch. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens (ISO 220, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
American Goldfinch. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens (ISO 220, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
American Goldfinch. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens (ISO 1000, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
American Goldfinch. Image taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens (ISO 1000, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Spring flowers of the day include Rhododendron, Red Oriental Poppy, Cosmos, and Foxglove. What I thought was a Gladiolus plant growing up through a crack in the patio blue-stones turned out to be a Foxglove plant.


Springtime Flowers. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

I spent most of the day out on the patio assembling the new Grow Towers and transplanting the indoor hydroponic strawberry plants to the outdoor Grow Towers. The activity was recorded by a Garmin VIRB-360 camera and used to create two time-lapse Little Planet videos.

Daily Electric Energy Used (46.3 kWh) from meter readings the Sense Home Energy Monitor. The daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (81.1 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Sun with some clouds. A surplus of 34.8 kWh.


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Two-Years Ago (21-July-2013) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

Time-Lapse Video: Day in the life of paper wasps. Images taken every 30 seconds with a Nikon D3x camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens (+ TC-E 20 III and SB-910 flash). You can see the larger larva stick their head out for a meal.

Three-Years Ago (24-December-2011) — Florida

Gone to See America. December 2011 Florida Road Trip. Day 5: St. Petersburg.

Top Gun Protecting His Mate and Nest. Osprey Aerial Battle. Fort De Soto County Park in St Petersburg, Florida. Image taken with a Nikon D700 camera and 28-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec).

Top Gun Protecting His Mate and Nest. Osprey Aerial Battle. Fort Desoto County Park in St Petersburg, Florida. Image taken with a Nikon D700 and 28-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec). (David J Mathre)
Top Gun Protecting His Mate and Nest. Osprey Aerial Battle. Fort Desoto County Park in St Petersburg, Florida. Image taken with a Nikon D700 camera and 28-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec). (David J Mathre)