Saturday (10-September-2022) — New Jersey

Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

Birds of the day viewed in my backyard: Mourning Dove, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, House Finch.


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


Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


Ruby-throated Hummingbird at a hummingbird feeder. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

The number of Yellowjacket wasps around the house has been increasing. They seem to be getting food out of the hummingbird feeder. They also have been feeding on suet blocks (which I have now removed). I have been finding dead ones on the floor in the basement, so was worried they had found a way into the basement but not a way out. Today, I found the basement window where they were getting in. Upon further investigation, I found they had built a nest in the ceiling of the basement near where they were getting into the house. I’ve created a time-lapse video of the nest using a Leica SL2s camera with a Laowa 24 mm f/14 macro probe lens. The macro probe lens allowed me to get closer to the nest without getting stung. From outside, I noticed that the wasps were returning to the nest with body parts of other bees. Have they attacked a Honey Bee hive?? Now I need to figure out how to deal with and remove the wasp nest.

Daily Electric Energy Used (50.9 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (52.9 kWh) from Sense. Sunny. Surplus of 2.0 kWh.

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Saturday (17-August-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

Day two putting up an electric fence around the Forsythia and Lilac bushes we planted earlier this spring.  It is hot out. One hour of the work recorded as a time-lapse video using a Garmin VIRB-360 camera.

Daily Electric Energy Used (66.9 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (57.2 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. A bit more Sun, but I ran a load of laundry (3.1 kWh), a load of dishes, and cooked dinner in the oven (0.3 kWh) today. The WaterFurnace geothermal HVAC had to work harder (26.8 kWh) because of the extra heat generated by the laundry, dishwasher, and oven. Daily net deficit 9.7 kWh.

One note — the WaterFurnace Symphony software indicated the system used 14 kWh, however the Sense Energy monitor indicated that the geothermal heat pump used 26.3 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.

Current Weather Conditions

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Thursday (23-August-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Summer Nighttime Sky Over New Jersey.

For the first time since I returned from Germany, the sky was predicted to be clear overnight.  I have been wanting to try the 8-15 mm fisheye lens (that I borrowed from my brother) for doing some star trail images, and night sky time-lapse videos. I did have an issue with condensation on the very wide lens in the early morning hours. I have had the condensation problem on other wide lenses (14 mm, 14-24 mm) in the past, and may need to fashion a small tape heater on the lens.


Star trails over New Jersey. Composite of images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 8-15 mm fisheye lens (ISO 100, 8 mm, f/4, 30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro, and the composite generated using Photoshop CC (statistics, maximum). Individual images from the slide show can be viewed here.

Four-Years Ago (13-November-2013) — New Jersey

Backyard Autumn Night Sky in New Jersey : Star trails looking North.

Images taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 58 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 58 mm, f/2, 30 sec). I’ve also included a slide show of shorter star trails and a time-lapsed video created with the individual images.

Star trails looking north from my backyard. Autumn night sky in New Jersey. Composite of 250 images taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 58 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 58 mm, f/2, 30 sec). (David J Mathre)
Star trails looking north from my backyard. Autumn night sky in New Jersey. Composite of 250 images taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 58 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 58 mm, f/2, 30 sec). (David J Mathre)

 


 

Three-Years Ago (12-November-2014) — New Jersey

Backyard Autumn Night Sky in New Jersey: Star Trails and Night Sky Time Lapsed Video.

Star and jet trails looking south from my backyard. Composite of 161 images taken with a Nikon D800 camera and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens. Then a moving time-lapsed video of the same view with images taken with a Nikon Df camera and 16-35 mm f/4 lens.

Star and jet trails looking south from my backyard. Composite of 161 images taken with a Nkon D800 camera and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 14 mm, f/4, 30 sec). (David J Mathre)
Star and jet trails looking south from my backyard. Composite of 161 images taken with a Nkon D800 camera and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 14 mm, f/4, 30 sec). (David J Mathre)