This week was one of the hottest ones I can recall in my lifetime. The high on Tuesday was 105. Even when the heat wave broke late in the week, it was 89 with very high humidity. I actually like the winter better than what I went through this week. I'm SO dreading my electricity bill because I kept my AC on so much! We need rain, too. I surely thought I sweated enough to take care of that, but apparently not.
The west side of town and its shootings seemed to have calmed down some. Perhaps the heat kept people indoors more. I guess if folks can afford handguns, they can afford air conditioners.
Beside the heat, the big event of the week was the season premiere and kick-off of Big Brother 12 on Thursday night. For me, it marks the start of a rather grueling three months or so of reporting live feed happenings and reviewing show episodes three times a week for TV Squad. Don't get me wrong, I anticipate the challenge each season! How long can Jackie survive on little to no sleep? ;-)
We tested the elevator at my apartment building. One day this week, the rather large man who lives directly above me, a woman who regularly visits someone in the building, Steve and his bicycle from upstairs and I all got in at the same time. It got us to our destinations! However, I noticed the door doesn't always go all the way into its groove once it opens on the second floor. Today I came home with groceries and ended up running upstairs to push the door into place so it would know to close, then downstairs to load my groceries in once it arrived. I'll have to let the people running the place know.
Onto this week's photos -- clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window ...
The sunflowers on East Front Street (Plainfield) are way taller than I am. That top peak one has to be over 8 feet high! Alas, due to the lack of rain, I'm seeing a lot of browning and dying leaves at the bottom. The plants themselves aren't as fat as in previous years, either.
Resting on the base of an oak tree at the Plainfield Train Station.
These damselflies really need to stay still longer! It's hard to get a shot of them.
Oh my. He seems to be eating the stuff that supposedly smells like carrion off of the mushroom. The stinkhorns have been making rapid appearances and shriveling away within a day lately. No. No sexual innuendo there. Really!
Open windows and air conditioners. I'm not sure how folks do without screens. I know that I get the occasional outside bug in here and I have screens. Don't birds fly in? North Avenue, Plainfield.
This is a yellow jacket, a member of the wasp family. I am allergic. Yet I'm strangely drawn to photograph stuff. And, there he was. I edited the shot to make the background black and white (really, gray) and leave the yellow jacket in color. Do you know that they're one of the most likely to sting and they can sting multiple times? Bridgewater, NJ.
I'm seeing a lot of beetle-type damage to the poison ivy and other plants at the Bridgewater Train Station -- obviously not so much on the leaves pictured here. I haven't seen the usual suspects, Japanese beetles, around. Yet this tiny kind of iridescent blue beetles are there. By the way, not only the leaves of three, but the "hairy" vines are indicative of poison ivy.
This is where I'm getting the yellow jacket photos from. I think they're building a nest or something in there. The two on the right side are dead. Almost like a whale beaching, they nudged themselves into that crevice and got stuck. I wasn't about to rescue them! There are about ten honor boxes in a row there. Only this one has yellow jackets in it. No one has tried to fill it lately. I wonder why?
But if you look closely, there's a small bee and a large ant on it!
"And you know that notion just crossed my mind." - 'Casey Jones' by The Grateful Dead. Nah, nothing to do with drug troubles. I'm talking heat problems. I never realized that intense heat will swell railroad tracks and slow down the trains. Plus, the new engines running these double-deckers automatically shut down (and stop the train) when they reach 140 degrees. The railroad lines with electric engines had more trouble than mine with diesel. But we were still late a lot. Plainfield Train Station in the early morning haze.
Can you find the honeybee in the shot? I saw chocolate-covered sunflower seeds in a store. Now, had they been dark chocolate-covered, I would have had to give them a go. East Front Street.
East Second Street in Plainfield.
The black chihuahua is my downstairs neighbor. He has a friend staying with him. Yes, I hear yaps and yips. I could send Vincent down to put them in their place! Notice how brown the grass is. We're not under any water restrictions here (that I know of), but many places in New Jersey are. "Man, it's a hot one, like seven inches from the midday sun ..." - 'Smooth' by Carlos Santana and Rob Thomas
These are really great! I love me some sunflowers.
I played a bit with the editing of this shot. I liked the sun and shadows on the building and its letters. I've never been inside. I'm sure my knee would set off the metal detectors. Watchung Avenue.
"Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty, been down, isn't it a pity, doesn't seem to be a shadow in the city ..." - 'Summer in the City' by The Lovin' Spoonful. I messed a bit with this one, too. Watchung Avenue and Court Place, Plainfield.
He's just hanging around.
The Real Estate yellow jackets are forming a new society, I guess.
I worked on Monday, a holiday for many people. The streets of Plainfield were deserted. Watchung Avenue. And, yes, I edited it just to leave the railroad bridge in color.
Thankfully these only remained up three days after the parade. One year one sat on the lawn at my building for almost two weeks! East Front and Richmond.
Vincent remains comfortable during this horrid weather. If you recall he was a stray picked up in Riverside Park in Manhattan. I adopted him from New York City Animal Care and Control, the shelter system which covers all of the boroughs. Well, some creep is beating up women in the park now. I'm so glad Vincent isn't wandering the streets of NYC these days. He probably is, too.
How was your week?