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.

Tuesday (15-September-2020) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Out working on the patio, I harvested the Broccoli Rabe and Radishes in the Grow Towers. This opened up light for the Basil and Pepper plants. I also distributed worms in to the composting tubes in each Grow Tower. I used the Ricoh Theta Z1 360 degree camera to make time-lapse Little Planet videos of the work on the patio. Same workflow as yesterday: Theta Z1 Camera set to record images using program auto mode (shutter, aperture, white-balance, JPG + RAW (DNG) every 10 seconds. Camera mounted on a tripod just above head level. The camera collected ~ 360 images (~ 1 hour) before running out of internal storage space. The DNG dual fisheye images were processed with Capture One Pro, saved in TIF format. Then converted to 360 degree equirectangular pano images with PTGUI (batch process). The Little Planet time-lapse video was created using PhotoShop CC (image converted to 1:1 format (7430 x 7430), rotated 180 degrees, converted to polar coordinates, then exported as a MP4 video (1920 x 1920, 10p). Rotation to the video was added using Premiere Pro.

Daily Electric Energy Used (39.7 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (52.1 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. More sun. A surplus of 12.4 kWh.

Monday (14-September-2020) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

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


Morning 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 Morning 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.

Out on the patio, I planted some Garlic for next spring and watered the Grow Towers. Theta Z1 Camera set to record images using program auto mode (shutter, aperture, white-balance, JPG + RAW (DNG) every 10 seconds. Camera mounted on a tripod just above head level. The camera collected ~ 360 images (~ 1 hour) before running out of internal storage space. The DNG dual fisheye images were processed with Capture One Pro, saved in TIF format. Then converted to 360 degree equirectangular pano images with PTGUI (batch process). The Little Planet time-lapse video was created using PhotoShop CC (image converted to 1:1 format (7430 x 7430), rotated 180 degrees, converted to polar coordinates, then exported as a MP4 video (1920 x 1920, 10p). Rotation to the video was added using Premiere Pro.

Daily Electric Energy Used (48.6 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (51.5 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Lots of clouds. A surplus of 2.9 kWh.

Monday (07-September-2020) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

Birds of the day: Blue Jay, Gray Catbird, Northern Cardinal.


Birds of the day. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Neighborhood cat sitting under the birdfeeder. The reason not many birds visited the birdfeeder today.


Neighborhood Cat Posing for a Portrait. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Morning walkabout looking for flowers. White Morning Glory, Sunflower, Cosmos, Evening Primrose, Four O’clock. In the first Morning Glory image you can see the blue “Mile-a-minute” berries/seeds.


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

Later in the morning I went out to spray the invasive “Mile-a-Minute” vine with a biosafe herbicide.

Daily Electric Energy Used (50.2 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (57.5 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Sun and clouds. A surplus of 7.3 kWh.

Saturday (05-September-2020) — New Jersey

Summer Nighttime Sky Over New Jersey.

With a clear night sky, I decided to try the new Ricoh Theta Z1 360 degree camera to create some star trails. I set the camera up on my back patio (ISO 400, dual 2.6 mm fisheye lens, f/3.5, 60 sec). The camera can collect 358 raw (DNG) images which corresponds to just under 5 hours at 60 second exposures. The images were processed with PTGUI, Capture One Pro, and Photoshop CC to create the following 360 degree Equirectangular Panorama, 360 degree Little Planet View, and 360 degree Tunnel View images. I’ve also included a time-lapse video of the night sky

Summertime Night Sky over New Jersey (360 Equirectangular Panorama). Composite of 360 images taken with a Ricoh Theta Z1 camera (ISO 400, dual 2.6 mm fisheye lens, f/3.5, 60 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Summertime Night Sky over New Jersey (360 Equirectangular Panorama). Composite of 360 images taken with a Ricoh Theta Z1 camera (ISO 400, dual 2.6 mm fisheye lens, f/3.5, 60 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Summertime Night Sky over New Jersey (360 Little Planet). Composite of 360 images taken with a Ricoh Theta Z1 camera (ISO 400, dual 2.6 mm fisheye lens, f/3.5, 60 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Summertime Night Sky over New Jersey (360 Little Planet). Composite of 360 images taken with a Ricoh Theta Z1 camera (ISO 400, dual 2.6 mm fisheye lens, f/3.5, 60 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Summertime Night Sky over New Jersey (360 Tunnel View). Composite of 360 images taken with a Ricoh Theta Z1 camera (ISO 400, dual 2.6 mm fisheye lens, f/3.5, 60 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Summertime Night Sky over New Jersey (360 Tunnel View). Composite of 360 images taken with a Ricoh Theta Z1 camera (ISO 400, dual 2.6 mm fisheye lens, f/3.5, 60 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Summertime Night Sky over New Jersey (360 Tunnel View). Composite of 360 images taken with a Ricoh Theta Z1 camera (ISO 400, dual 2.6 mm fisheye lens, f/3.5, 60 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Summertime Night Sky over New Jersey (360 Tunnel View). Composite of 360 images taken with a Ricoh Theta Z1 camera (ISO 400, dual 2.6 mm fisheye lens, f/3.5, 60 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (43.0 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (61.9 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. More sun. A surplus of 18.9 kWh.