Sunday, October 21, 2012

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - October 21, 2012

Good Sunday morning to you! Since it is Sunday morning, it's time for my weekly off television reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken.

Our weather this week has been a bit of a mixed bag. While we had some chilly days, it wasn't freezing cold at all. But we did have one entire day of heavy steady rain. Plus, we've had lots of wind. As the fall foliage season heads towards peak, I'm not seeing as vibrant an array of colors as seen in some years. But the colors did pick up a bit, seemingly overnight one day this week.

Where I live now is a good three weeks behind where I'm originally from. I'm talking autumn leaves, not in terms of reality and time travel! When I was a youngster, Halloween was a spooky time with all the dead leaves rustling and barren branches. Here, Halloween arrives just about even with peak fall foliage. So, we still have plenty of green out there. We also have trees which have given up, grown brown, and de-leaved practically overnight. It's a glorious time of year to be in the Northeast!

Perhaps I'm rambling on about the weather because I just don't have much else for you today. Nothing new and exciting on the home front. I'm putting my train friend Chris in touch with the landlord here as he's seeking new digs. As he is blind, he needs a safe place and I think this building would suit his needs. I'm kind of surprised he didn't cringe at the rent figures I quoted. You really don't see too many young single people living alone in apartments in this area. Most either have roommates or live at home with their parents until they're about to get married, it seems. Chris might be older than I think, though.

Other than that bit o' non-news, I seem to finally be out of my illness woes. I'm still a bit fatigued, but I tend to be that way anyway. I never sleep as much as I should even though I so love to sleep! Vincent is doing well. I'm sorry I ever introduced him to Temptations crunchy cat treats. If I even touch a similar bag of people food stuff, he comes running. I've created a monster!

Oh, I did have some good news this week! In a time when many companies, including the one I work for, are decreasing benefits, mine has decided that as of January 1, 2013, those employees with twenty years or more of service, get yet another week of paid vacation!. Woohoo! True, I tend to use my vacation time for staycations, but still ...! 

I'm thinking the company probably thinks there will be fewer people who stick around so long as the younger generation comes up through the ranks. Unlike the previous generation, more people really job hop these days. But then again, my company sunsetted the retirement pension for those hired after 2006. All they have is the 401K and most don't take advantage of it. Me? I've already filled the pension requirements in time and age, plus I have a 401K. I still don't see economically being able to retire anytime soon. I'll have to crunch the figures and see the health factors in about five years. Until then, I will bask in another week's paid vacation.

Now that I've bored y'all to death, it's onto the photos. Clicking on an image will open it on a new page, clicking again will make the image larger. Then just close out that new window to return to the blog. 

Plainfield Train Station
Plainfield Train Station at night

This was last night as I returned home from work. I've noticed that the homeless man, Omar, who "works" at the station has been amongst the missing for a couple of months now. I'm assuming jail, although he really does help people with the ticket machines and train information. But, kind of like Mr. Bojangles, he drinks a bit. I'm sure when I see him again, he'll tell me he's been "away" as if alluding to a vacation on the French Riviera.

Late season monarch butterfly

I saw this monarch butterfly yesterday in Bridgewater. It's really late in the season for them. The big migration through this area heading to Brazil (or wherever they go) took place last month. He seemed healthy and spry. And, after noticing bees that looked on the edge of death one day after an overnight frost, they were looking good again yesterday, too.

Red sky in the morning

Sailors take warning! And, yes ... the rain started by afternoon. I took this shot in Bridgewater.



Mad Squirrel
Angry squirrel

This squirrel had been looking for treasure on a church lawn on East Front Street. Some children came by on scooters, scaring him up the tree. He took out his fury on ME as I walked by! He was chattering and screaming until I was out of sight.

Bound Brook
Stuck in Bound Brook

On Thursday morning, there was a "trespasser" incident on the Raritan Valley Line. Whenever they refer to it that way, it's a suicide. It's not a frequent happening, but it's definitely not rare, either. It's horrible for the conductor and personnel who have to deal with it, perhaps traumatic for those who see it. But it also really messes up the train schedules. I suppose that sounds uncaring, but it really does! 

NJ Transit made us empty our train at Bound Brook. In cases like this, they send a bus. But the bus has to come out of Newark. Who knows when it will get there? A rip-off taxi tried to tell people it's $18 to go to Somerville! A head, not a group! Yikes. I called work and they sent someone for me.

Predawn flower
Flower by flash

Lately it's pitch black night as I leave for work and the sunrises just as I get to work. I took this shot in the dead of night (wah) on East Front Street in Plainfield.

Finding the good stuff

The squirrels are in a flurry of activity this time of year. This one was at the Plainfield Train Station yesterday.

Tree at Friends Meeting House

The big tree at the side of the Friends Meeting House (Quakers) on Watchung Avenue in Plainfield is simply glorious each autumn!

YWCA lamp
YWCA lamp with autumn leaves

In their own way, the yellow leaves on the trees at the YWCA on East Front Street are very pretty, too. But, word of warning -- the fallen leaves on the bricked corner are WAY slippery! I almost went down. I can imagine some of the folks coming out of the bar across the street had a fall or two.

Looking up
Looking up

Looking at at the Plainfield Train Station, East 4th Street side.

Friends tree
I love autumn!

Fungi eruption
Fungi eruption

Oh my. The "fuzzy fungus" on this tree left a while ago, leaving ripped scars in the bark. And now, within the last few weeks, it's erupted! Bridgewater, in the toxic superfund site nearby the train station.

Fall poison
Leaflets three, autumn style

Poison ivy is so pretty in autumn! Bridgewater, NJ.

Colorful poison ivy
Pretty poison

Yep, pretty poison ivy!

Color in grey skies
Color on a rainy grey day

The Esteemed Vincent
The Esteemed Mr. Vincent

He looks SO sweet and innocent, doesn't he? He's just waiting for me to rustle a bag that sounds like it just might possibly be cat treats. Then he becomes possessed!

How was your week?


rschnoop said...

I'm glad to hear you are feeling better...
Really great pictures, as usual. You need to DO A BOOK of your photography!

Laurie said...

Oh Jackie, a butterfly and all that fall foliage? You are too kind. I am glad you are feeling better now. Hope your better health lasts for the whole winter!!

Maybe we can use up some of that vacation with another reunion somewhere. I'm ready for an adventure.

Retirement? I am taking a class right now on that very thing, learning how to put things together to see where we really are. I have avoided the homework for 3 weeks but must do it today. Apparently this is normal. Nobody wants to really crunch those numbers. Tuesday is my last class and then we get a free consultation. This was all put on by my workplace. Pretty cool, even if it is really hard stuff to face.

Palmaltas said...

Beautiful, beautiful photos, Jackie!I look forward to this blog every Sunday.

Kathy in NC said...

Enjoying your photos as always. However, I had to enlarge "Fungus Explosion" to identify the creature hiding in the top center of the picture. Only then did I finally realize that the two "eyes" staring out were just spots on a twig's bark.