Sunday, May 01, 2011

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - May 1, 2011

It's a beautiful spring Sunday morning here in New Jersey. And, because it's Sunday, it's time for my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken.

It's been some week in the world, eh? The Royal Wedding (and all those bizarre and sometimes stunning hats) and the weather dominated the past week. My heart goes out to all of the tornado victims in the South. Thankfully we had early word that blog friend DonnaInAL made it through okay.

I don't have a clue what's going on with the weather these days. From the record snows of the winter to floods and tornadoes, it's been a roller coaster ride. While we didn't have the tornado threats here, we did have a lot of rain (once again) and some pretty nasty storms. I believe this is the first week in a long time that the temperatures were generally along the lines they should be.

On the first actual spring day with sunshine and low humidity, I noticed the difference in my knee. The weather definitely affects it. I thought the knee has been more painful ever since I set the surgery date, but it may have just been the chilly damp weather. By the way, the elevator in my apartment building is once again fixed. Now I feel safe to go do my heavy grocery shopping day!

I really haven't had much going on myself this week. Work, more work. Sleep, eat, read, watch TV and let Vincent (the cat) drape himself across my lap or shoulder. I caught the repeat of The Voice and enjoyed it. So I might be watching that one. Did you see it?

As I took photos this week I came to the realization that there's something other than the moderate temperatures which make me enjoy both spring and fall so much. It's the changes. Every day something is different -- a new bloom, a tree's leaves changing. Every day is full of glorious sights.

In the winter and summer, things remain pretty much the same. Sure, a huge snowstorm or ice storm give me some incentive. But for the most part, both seasons tend to be routine. In the summer at least there are bugs to liven things up. In the spring, each day is an adventure with the camera!

Onto the photos I took this week -- clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window, then use your Back button on your browser to return to the blog.

Busy Ant

You can't ever guess how hard it was to get a decent shot of this little guy. He kept running all over the place. He's larger than the ants which tend to invade homes, but only about a quarter of the size of a carpenter ant. Maybe it's a baby carpenter ant? I don't know. Bridgewater, NJ.

No way this poison ivy will be stopped

In looking at this one, I believe I had turned the camera and it's probably supposed to be portrait, not landscape. Oh well. I still like it. The "hairy" stuff coats the huge vines which have taken over the fences at the Bridgewater Train Station. Even though they chop it away each season, they'll never stop it. It's probably been growing there for more than a few decades.

Are ya getting itchy yet?

I can't help it! I find poison ivy a very photogenic subject! You can't get it over the computer. Er, don't rub your hand on the photo just in case!

I tell you ... they're not going to stop it!

You can see how the vines have taken over this section of fence. Soon it will be all densely filled in with leaflets of three.

Something safer

Well, last year it kept bonking me on the head as it shed its acorns, but ...! This is one of the oak trees at the Plainfield Train Station in its spring glory.

Two days later

As I said, spring is constant change. That's Cleveland Avenue in the background. (Plainfield).

Double header

Marvin and Princess in the 'hood

I asked him once why he carries the baseball bat. It's because of the horse-sized rottweiler a woman walks in the neighborhood. Now, I know that dog. That bat would be like hitting him with a toothpick. As a pedestrian I'm leery of it. You know if an owner sees someone coming and deliberately crosses the street or goes up someone's driveway, that's no nice puppy. The dog probably outweighs the woman. She obviously is concerned about the dog attacking people/pets. I couldn't live with a dog like that.

Princess, on the other hand, is a sweetie of a dog. East Front Street, Plainfield.

Whatchoo lookin' at?

One of the little shiny blue beetles checks me out in Bridgewater.

Already gone

Yes, by Friday the blossoms were done and over with. Such a short time, but what a splendid sight while they were here. Bridgewater, NJ.

When these go, more will arrive

Nah, you don't want them on the lawn. But they're good photo fodder.


I took this one from the westbound platform of the Plainfield Train Station looking towards Watchung Avenue.

The buds bloomed this week

Last week I showed this tree's buds. This week beauty took over. It was foggy the morning I took this and that's the sidewalk which was blocked by snow and ice all winter. Obviously no one uses it, huh? Looking up North Avenue and the Plainfield Train Station from the intersection of Watchung and East Third.

Spring debris

The white petals of the probably apple trees on Church Street in Plainfield leave traces that are reminiscent of snow ... but not snow!

Tulip Row

This is the house on the corner of East Front and Richmond -- the one which decorates for every season. While her holiday decorations are amazing, her flowers always catch my attention.

Fog in the 'hood

We had more than a few really foggy mornings this past week. East Front Street.

Bridgewater Train Station tree

Plainfield Train Station tree

As a disclaimer, at the Bridgewater Train Station, there's one of these trees in the field of geese, too.


They're starting to emerge.

After the rain

After a particularly nasty thunderstorm and downpour, many of the blossoms were turned inside-out.

Others merely drooped

I met a cat

I believe this might be the same cat/kitten at the time I photographed a year or two ago in the driveway of this yard. I commented at the time how unsafe it is to allow the cat to roam a busy city street. It's obviously not a stray, but this cat's life expectancy is far shorter than any indoor cat's. East Front Street.


The tulips got bonked by the rains, too.

Most of the tulips in this patch had their petals ripped off in the storm that passed through. Bridgewater, NJ.

First azalea

This is the first bloom I found. In this section there are red, pink, and white. Every year the pink blooms first, then the white, then the red bushes. I don't know why. This particular bloom must be the leader! Within a day, the blooms were sprouting up all over the bushes.

Posing for animal crackers?

Plainfield Train Station squirrel.

White leaving green leaves staying

The trees on Church Street are past the blossom stage. Still pretty, but not as striking.


I don't miss parking a car under trees in the spring! I cut through the U-Haul lot on my way to the train station. The trees in the adjacent rowhouse courtyard do a job on everything. Roosevelt and East Second Streets

Ongoing bird feeder saga

I told you that the bird feeder people returned to East Front Street. Well, where they put the feeder on a post in the front lawn didn't get the bird action they wanted (which is why I haven't posted more photos of it). What to do?

They tied the old dead tree (which originally held the bird feeder) to their fence. If nothing else, they're determined.


C'mon, Vincent. Move your paw.

"No. You talked to another cat."

How was your week?


~~Silk said...

Jackie, do you ever sell your photographs? If so, can you make enlargements on photographic paper with non-fading ink? If so, how much would you want for a print of the large pink flowers, about 16" (or whatever's standard) on the long side?

You can respond here, or to silkendrum at yah know hoo dot com.

Lifeguard Laurie said...

Vincent has a point. It's one thing to capture all those wonderful trees and flowers, but another cat? Not so cool from his point of view. Of course, I love them all.

Thanks for uploading the large versions of these pictures. While I don't always look at them full screen, I am a real fan of the flora and fauna ... even the ant!

Donna in AL said...

Wonderful pictures Jackie as always!

I am so fortunate and blessed to have escaped any damage from the tornados! I was without power and water from 5:30 am Wednesday until 3pm Friday but that is nothing in comparison to the devastation around the state.

If anyone can, please donate to the Red Cross or google other organizations. Water, ice and gasoline are in short supply around the state.
I hope you don't mind me asking this Jackie. Thank you.

Jackie said...

Not a problem at all Donna -- please, anyone who can help, go for it. They need us!

Jackie said...

Silk - I put that photo up in my Zazzle store (something I'll be experimenting more with as time goes on). You can find it at Pretty in Pink They seem as reasonable as anywhere for that kind of venture and you can order it in a size you want. Thank you!

Delee said...

Love the flowers of spring pictures. We must be about a week behind you for the blooming, my tulips will open in a few days!

I have maple tree dropping yucky's everywhere and that includes indoors as Starry drags a few in on her paws...

I try and do a bit of yardwork here and there. Just as I feel the need to do a certain chore it rains that day. So far behind.

Everyone I know from AL came through the disaster. The images we see can not portray the reality, I am sure.

Waiting to see if 60 Minutes starts on time! PGA ugh! YES AR on time here!

Janice said...

Jackie, these are AMAZING photos this week!! I don't know if its just me but I enjoyed them more than usual and I ALWAYS enjoy your pictures!!
You have two talents, writing AND photography!

Jennasmom said...

Great photos, as always, Jackie!