As it is Sunday, it's time for my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken along the way. On television topic for a moment -- there should be news tomorrow on the new Big Brother house and, by the end of the week, on the new cast of hamsters. You can still get the Early Bird Special on the live feeds at cbs.com. If you're having trouble signing up for the live feeds, my only advice would be to clear your cache or reboot your computer. It might be easier to sign into the CBS site with your Facebook account if you have one.
Onto the week ... it rained. And then it rained some more. On Wednesday, my day off, it actually did NOT rain! Woohoo! I took a trip into nearby Westfield to visit Mindowaskin Park for a photo stomp of flowers, water fowl, bugs and the cicada "invasion." Here's a video I shot at the park with the cicadas singing their mating song as the background ...
Once I hit Trader Joe's, I was thrilled to find out they're expanding and taking over the whole building at their location. It's now twice the size! YAY! Although everything is still under construction, I already found new items I've never seen before. Trader Joe's is my favorite grocery store and the Westfield location was so tiny. I'm overjoyed for sure!
On the home front, the new landlords sent me the notice of a lease quit/renewal and rent increase. I had been worried as, even though I'm paying above market rate due to past mismanagement, they've been doing a lot of improvements to the building. My lease isn't up until September 1st, but I usually get this notice this time of the year. Okay, they raised my rent $5 more a month. I can deal with that. About the only thing better would have been no increase or a decrease. I can't see that happening!
One thing the new landlords should do, however, is learn their math. The state legal form was led off with an apology for the way it was worded (these notices required by the state always sound like you're getting the boot), how they understand how tough the economy is and blah-blah-blah. Then they said my rent increase is so tiny that it ends up being less than 75 cents a day! Um. Do the math. I believe it's more in line with 15 cents a day.
I found six dollars on the ground at the Bridgewater Train Station last night. I'll put that towards my rent increase! Onto this week's photos ... due to the never-ending rain for most of the week, the majority of these were taken on my Wednesday in nearby Westfield.
|Is it an ALIEN?|
Nah, it's just a Magicicada. More on these in a bit.
My, what a big mouth he has! I guess he wanted to let me know he wasn't just a sitting duck.
These are lining the chain link fence at the back of my apartment building.
|Whatchoo lookin' at?|
You know, it's rude to honk with food in your mouth, Goosey Lucy.
This mother duck and her young ducklings kept hanging out in really sunny areas, so I didn't get great photos of them.
|Idyllic, ain't it?|
The pond at Mindowaskin Park is a lot cleaner this month. Yay!
|Mmm ... CHOCOLATE!|
I keep telling myself that I need to stop into this little shop on Quimby Street in Westfield. One day, I surely will!
|Moth on a dandelion|
My apologies if these creep you out, but I find them fascinating. These Brood II Magicicada live about a foot underground for 17 years, then work their way up to the surface to molt, mate, lay eggs and die. It will be another 17 years until they "invade" once again.
They're harmless as far as biting goes. I read that if they think you're a tree, they might try to suck sap and that can be painful. But all the ones I met seemed to realize I'm no tree. I did see one knock down a jogger, though. There she was running along. A cicada flew into her. She screamed and fell down. Heehee!
While I've been wanting to get photos of these cool insects, there are none in the areas I immediately travel. After going a few miles away and finding them, they can stay there. Besides flying into people (a lot), the noise is too much. I don't recall the last emergence of these cicadas or the one before. But now I'll remember the constant ringing noise. After spending a few hours in an area hit by them, my ears kept ringing for hours more. Plus, all the dead ones on the sidewalks, porches, lawns as well as the molted "skins," ... it's messy!
|On my arm!|
|On my hand!|
|On my finger!|
|Landed on my jeans|
This is how the cicada got on my hand, finger and then my arm. He landed on my jeans as I sat. So I held my hand out to him and he jumped aboard. Finally he climbed to the point where I was worried he'd climb under my shirt, so I shook him off. One that landed unexpectedly on the back of my neck didn't fare as well, nor was as welcome.
|With those eyes, you can't hide, buddy!|
Some of the trees in the area have thousands of these at their base. Others have hundreds. Even others have none. Kind of like a snake shedding its skin, as do the cicadas.
|The molting aftermath also grips to trees|
Some trees are lined with these left behind skins.
|The babies have grown!|
I believe this is the same goose family I photographed last month. If so, one of the babies didn't make it as it's only five goslings and the two parents. The parents are still very protective of the young.
At one point the mother (or father?) goose watched a trio of other grown geese about fifty feet away like a hawk. Finally he/she lowered its neck and charged at the trio. They must have known the danger as they immediately jumped in the pond and swam away. Although the parents do watch me intently, they seem to assume I'm no danger to their young.
:::Looking up goose recipes:::
|Not as cute as a month ago|
|First floor cat in a window|
As far as I know, this is the only other cat in my apartment building. A woman lives in the studio apartment there and has since I've lived here. I don't really know her at all, but I talk to her cat.
|Hey, Vincent! Over here!|
He was so intent on watching a squirrel that he didn't realize I was there. Silly kitty!