Sunday, April 04, 2010

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - 04/04/10


I hope everyone is having a great Easter! Zoetawny created the holiday tag for us ... she does always rock, right? It's Sunday, time to take my weekly off topic trip reflecting on the week gone by in photographs and words. This week's big news is that we had no flooding this week! While the week started off rainy, it all changed and we're in for actual spring days.

I love living where the seasons actually change. I did a couple of years in California as a child and it just wasn't the same. Each season has its own particular beauty. Winter's snow and ice are often a spectacular sight. In autumn, the trees go out in a blaze of glory for their winter nap. Summer is my least favorite season these days, especially late summer when everything just looks worn and burnt. Then there's spring, a time when everything begins anew. The changes happen so fast that if you miss a day, you miss a bloom. So I tend to go a little camera crazy. Bless digital!

Other than catching nature all around me, it's been a bit uneventful this week. On Tuesday morning, in a vicious evil rainstorm, I managed to sort of half-trip and aggravate my knee. I think it's safe to say that before (or during) the next winter, my knee will be full of titanium and plastic like the other one.

This week's Sunday Seven Songs randomly picked from my not-an-iPod --
"Rock the Casbah" by The Clash
"Let's Go Crazy" by Prince
"Sweet Baby James" by James Taylor
"Without Me" by Eminem
"Expressway to Your Heart" by The Soul Survivors
"Way Down in the Hole" by The Five Blind Boys of Alabama
"Geek in the Pink" by Jason Mraz

What's on your MP3 player?

Onto the photos -- clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window.

Yay, spring!

I "posterized" this shot of leaves coming to life on a small tree. Don't ask me what kind of tree it is. I'm lucky to be able to tell a conifer from a deciduous.

Holding up the railing ...

... at the Plainfield NJ Transit Train Station

Spring is in the air!

A man walks down East Front Street in Plainfield dressed for the season. I edited the shot to leave him in color, the background black and white and posterized.

Pretty Police

The trees and bushes are in bloom and the lawn is a lush green at the Plainfield Police Station. Well, the lawn is a lush after drinking all that rain the past few weeks!

Church Street (Plainfield) lined with blossoms

Again, don't ask me what the trees are. This is before the peak Saturday morning. By Monday, they'll all be in full bloom or blowing in the wind.

Church Street blossoms a bit closer

The Heard One complex is in the background.

Even closer

These are what they are. What are they? ;-)

Then there's this yellow stuff

On Church Street, but in my yard and everywhere else, too.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

Nope. It's a fancy-schmancy digital antenna gleaming in the early morning sun. North Street in Plainfield (adjacent to a gaping hole on the left).

Yet another tree awakening

Whatever this one is, it blooms in red and white. At the Bridgewater Train Station.

Is it? Could it be? Have I encountered the Easter Bunny?

Our conversation went like this:
Rabbit - "There's a human in my way."
Me - "There's a rabbit in my way."
Staredown ensued while I grabbed my camera. The rabbit backed down and ran away.
Bridgewater Train Station.

Downtown Cat

I've spotted this small cat twice near the Watchung Avenue and East Fourth Street intersection in Plainfield. He seems street-savvy and fed well enough, but it's really not a good location for a cat.

Is this what a thorny snit looks like?

Distracting the enemy

Throw the pigeons crumbs and run for your lives! The birds are gathering!

More trees in bloom

This one is outside the Methodist Church on East Front Street in Plainfield. It's blooming oddly this year. Every other year, it bloomed evenly. This year one side is lagging after the other.


This is a closer shot of the blossoms from the previous shot.

Berckman Street, Plainfield

I messed with the editing, posterizing it, cartooning it, bumping up the contrast ... just having a grand old time with it.

My Landlord's Landscaping

Oh, what pretty flowers!

Odd Subject Matter

Okay, it's a restroom. But it's the restroom at Five Guys Hamburgers and Fries in Westfield. Why? First, it's so shiny and clean. Second, it matches the red and white checkered scheme of the restaurant itself. It also has a super most powerful on earth electric hand dryer which all but blows the skin off your hands. My shots of that in action didn't work out.

Old Reiss Tavern Sign

This is near the south side of the Plainfield Train Station. I wonder how long it's been since there was a bar there to match the sign?

Reiss Tavern, the other side

I edited this shot leaving the sign as is while posterizing and making the background black and white.

Pre-Dawn deli

North Street in Plainfield.

Pre-dawn bar windows

I messed with the colors and posterizing, leaving the Miller signs as they really are. My, isn't that the champagne of bottled beers?

Mouse Killer at rest

Trust me ... if he hears anything, he springs to life.

In closing, I took an abbreviated video of my daily NJ Transit Train commute. Of interest to folks who follow the blog -- look for scarf lady! The ride to work (although I didn't record the last station where I get off) was Good Friday and the train was fairly deserted and kind of quiet. The clip heading to Plainfield was that evening with NJ Devils fans, tourists, and loud children. No, I didn't film them, but you can hear them. Enjoy!

How was your week?


Margo said...

My guess on the white tree is a cherry? I think it is too early for Crab Apple so cherry is my guess. Yellow is forsythia (sp?). Big pink one is a magnolia. We have Magnolia, Bradford Pear, Flowering Plum and the Redbud trees are all blooming now in St Louis. The forsythia bushes are all covered in yellow flowers. Some azaleas are starting to bloom.
It was very warm her this week so things just popped into full bloom.

Happy Easter!!

Laurie said...

The train ride was fun even with the sound off. I'll take it again later with the sound turned on. Glad to see the scarf lady was there even if she was the only other passenger.

I love seeing all the flowers and plants blooming. It must be especially magical in an area like yours. Even the dreaded dandelion is pretty!

No basketball today, so TAR should start on time. See you then!

Lars said...

Great Photo's

Happy Easter


SueGee said...

Great clip of your commute! Looks so much like the backyards and businesses you see from trains everywhere! I did notice that, just like here, our commutes are in daylight again - both ways! So much better that way when we have to go to work!


joy n said...

Happy Easter everyone! Beautiful graphic, Zoetawny!

I've never been on a train in my life other than a parked one at an outdoor museum. Watching your video makes me want to ride one. I should one of these days.

My flowers are out except for the tulips but they're about to burst in the next day or so, I believe.

The weather here, too, has been gorgeous. 87 yesterday. In April! 66 today. Nice to have doors open with tons of fresh air.
Got very windy last night which brought in a cooler front but I enjoy the 60's much more than the 80's. Needed a fan yesterday.

I get what you mean about the changing of seasons, Jackie. I lived in L.A. for about two years in the seventies and in Houston for two years during the eighties but I enjoy upstate New York seasons so much more.

Hope your knee doesn't dog you too much this week just so you're not too distracted from this beautiful weather.

Loved your pix of the flowers and trees, the rabbit, the pigeon and the cat. Thought that was Roofus for a moment. Vincent seems to be enjoying his springtime nap.

Becky said...

Happy Easter, Jackie and Vincent. I wonder if the "sleeper" is on the way to work or home from work. Enjoyed the video. You should do that more often.

Weather here is up one day and down the next. It's been very windy here. It was foggy going to church this morning.

The weather is playing havoc with my allergies. I am scheduled for a stress test Tuesday. I am going to cancel the test and see if I can get it changed to a regular appointment.

Sally said...

Great photos of all the spring blossoms. I like what you did with the photo of the jaunty guy in the floral shirt.

I'm a fan of the changing seasons too, though I could do without the hottest, most humid days of summer.

And there's nothing cuter than a sleeping cat.

Jeff said...

I love spring, thanks for the great photos!

olddoc said...

Berkman Street is a claaic.

olddoc said...

Jackie, I ,may not know how to type, but I do know how to spell. Don't know how claaic passed by. of course it is a classic.

Jackie said...

The odd thing is that I knew it meant "classic."

meb said...

Sort of late for Easter greetings Jackie. I have no excuse. Just so much TV that I'm slow getting to the blog world. I missed reading this tho, so glad I did some backtracking. I also enjoyed the ride and scarf lady was just an extra treat...LOL.

I hope your Easter was special and that you and Vincent didn't eat too many chocolates!