Saturday (13-July-2019) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Daily Walkabout. The new butterfly for the day is a Horace’s Duskywing Butterfly (Erynnis horatius) feeding on a Coreopsis Flower. Many images, and a time-lapse video of the Goldfinch feeding on a Cornflower. There were two Tiger Swallowtail butterflies in one of the back wildflower meadows where the miniature Zinnia flowers are starting to bloom. A Clearwing Hummingbird moth stopped by to feed on Pink Cosmos flowers. It likes pink. Many images, and a time-lapse video of the Hummingbird moth.

Horace's Duskywing Butterfly (Erynnis horatius) feeding on a Coreopsis Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens (David J Mathre)
Horace’s Duskywing Butterfly (Erynnis horatius) feeding on a Coreopsis Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens (David J Mathre)


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



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



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



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Daily Power Use (61.5 kWh) from Sense and Solar Production (78.68 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. More sun today, but did a load of laundry and ran the dishwasher. Still generated more power that I’m using.

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Tuesday (09-July-2019) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

While it was still cool out in the morning, I mowed the yard. It had been over a week and I needed to catch up. I had my Nikon 1 V3 camera with the 70-300 mm lens with me “just in case”. Sure enough when I passed the back wildflower section I noticed a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. It found the dwarf Zinnia flowers that had just started blooming. This section was not seeded until several weeks after the sections next to the house where the wildflowers are now waist to shoulder high. After I finished mowing I came across a Painted Lady butterfly in the wildflowers near the house. Then to make my day, I saw a Monarch butterfly. I was cooking dinner and looked out the kitchen window and saw it fly by. Normally, I don’t see the Monarch butterflies until late August and September. So I ran out with the camera and got some pictures. I didn’t care that dinner burned while I was outside…

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Cosmos Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Cosmos Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Painted Lady Butterfly on a Coneflower Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Painted Lady Butterfly on a Coneflower Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Painted Lady Butterfly on a Coreopsis Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Painted Lady Butterfly on a Coreopsis Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Painted Lady Butterfly on a Coneflower Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Painted Lady Butterfly on a Coneflower Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Coreopsis Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Coreopsis Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Coreopsis Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Coreopsis Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Coreopsis Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Coreopsis Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Coreopsis Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Coreopsis Flower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Sunflower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Monarch Butterfly on a Sunflower. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Power Use (58.9 kWh) from Sense and Solar Production (79.1 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Much more sun today, so the solar panels generated more power that I used.

Current Weather Conditions

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Sunday (07-July-2019) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Butterflies, Bees, and Clearwing Hummingbird Moths. Today, the Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly was missing its tails and some of its rear wing. The Black Swallowtail Butterfly (NJ State Butterfly) was also missing one of its tails. I also saw a Red Admiral and Painted Lady Butterfly. One of the Clearwing Hummingbird Moths showed up. It spent most of its time feeding on the Pink Cosmos and Pink Zinnia flowers


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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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Daily Power Use (59.1 kWh) from Sense and Solar Production (64.15 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. The sun was out long enough to generate more power than the geothermal HVAC system needed to keep the house cool.

Current Weather Conditions

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Saturday (06-July-2019) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Birds, Bees, Butterflies, and Kermit the Frog. Today’s images were taken during my walkabouts with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens. Flower and wildflower images will be in a different post. The first Tiger Swallowtail butterfly had lost its tails. The Swallowtails are pretty skittish — not staying in one place for very long, making capturing photos a challenge. Latter on I came upon what I think is a Variegated Fritillary Butterfly (Euptoieta claudia). It was more cooperative staying still for a bit. I am seeing several different types of bees — honey bees, bumble bees, sweat bees, tiny green bees on the different flowers currently in bloom. The interesting one today was a large black bee, about the size of a Bumble Bee but without any hair like a Bumble Bee. This bee had been working Coreopsis (Tickseed) flowers with yellow pollen since its bottom was bright yellow. Back at the pond, it appears that Kermit caught a dragonfly.

Male Cardinal at the Birdfeeder. Image taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Male Cardinal at the Birdfeeder. Image taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 100-400 mm OIS lens (DAVID J MATHRE)


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



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



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


Daily Power Use (58.9 kWh) from Sense and Solar Production (50.17 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. It was cloudy out much of the day, so I generated less power than the geothermal HVAC system needed to keep the house cool.

Current Weather Conditions

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Tuesday (24-July-2018) — New Jersey.

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

For the last several days it has been raining. Rain is good as it is keeping me busy trying to restore some of my wildflower meadows that had been taken over by the invasive “mile-a-minute” vine. I tried many methods to get rid of the vine. Ultimately, I ended up having to use a herbicide. Now I am re-seeding with various wildflower seeds. I hope some take.

Today, I noticed a Clearwing Moth on my Zinnia flowers (Hemaris diffinis, snowberry clearwing,”hummingbird moth”). Later on I saw a caterpillar chowing down on one of my Dill plants that I was letting bolt and go to seed. I am not sure what butterfly it will become (thinking a Black Swallowtail?). Later on I noticed a yellow (tiger) swallowtail butterfly on the Zinnia flowers. While checking the tomato plants in the Garden Tower I saw a giant Tomato Hornworm — covered with hundreds of the parasitic wasp cocoons. These tiny wasps are a good thing as a natural pest control for the Tomato Hornworms.






Yellow Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Yellow Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (DAVID J MATHRE)


Individual images in the slide shows can be viewed here.