Sunday, May 25, 2014

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - May 25, 2014

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Remembering those who served

Now, of course I'm not old enough to know anyone who lost his life in the Spanish-American War, mind you! I took this photo about three years ago right around Memorial Day and it seemed fitting to lead off today's post with it.

Welcome to my off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photos I've taken along the way. I'm posting a bit later today because ... I'm in STAYCATION mode! Yep. This is the first time since last fall that I'm taking time off from work not due to health reasons. Naturally, I have my little aches and pains, but nothing debilitating such as the sciatica I had for months. I actually slept in this morning. Woot!

Since the slideshows were such a big hit with the readers last week, I made another flowers slideshow with the photos I took this week. Too many flowers, too many shots I liked to post each photo individually here. I hope you enjoy them!

Just an on television topic word of warning -- I'll be posting some Big Brother, Falling Skies and other TV topic news during the week ahead. Just because The Amazing Race and Survivor had their finales this past week doesn't mean I'm not watching television! Anybody watching Fargo?

Let's see ... what happened this past week? Well, we had quite a bit of rain. Nothing like last spring, but you'll see raindrops on many of the flower photos. Work was hectic trying to get all set for me to not be there for a week. Surely I'll come back to problems. But I refuse to think of it this week!

I had plans yesterday to go to the farmers market in Scotch Plains. But then I woke up really early (as per my work sleep schedule), decided to take a nap when the skies turned gloomy in the morning hours and woke up to sunlight at just about the time the market closes down. Just as well as the skies once again turned to rain. I'll go next Saturday.

The apartment hallway noise situation remains improved. Apparently the offenders are quite worried that we (the normal tenants in the hallway) will turn them in for too many people squashed into a small one-bedroom apartment. I plan to speak to the landlord anyway. I'm just waiting my latest rental renewal letter before I complain. I don't want them to think of me as a whiner or a problem before I know the latest increase. I'm hoping it's only the $5 once again (or less). I'm still above the market rate for the rehabbed units in the building while I have a thirty-year old stove and original kitchen cabinets and such.

Onto the photos for the week ...

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Urban bunny

This rather large wild rabbit was grazing on a lawn on Berckman Street in Plainfield. I haven't seen many rabbits in the 'hood yet this year and definitely no babies. I'm sure they'll be coming soon. After all, rabbits are the new squirrels around here.

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The magical iris

The stunning irises are growing across the street (on Berckman) from where the rabbit was grazing. There are blue irises growing on East Front Street, too. But I love the colors on these. All are included in the flowers slideshow after the page jump.

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Adolescent squirrel resting

You never see adult squirrels resting! This week I've only seen the late bloomer young squirrel hanging around the bridge at the Bridgewater Train Station. The two more adventurous siblings seem to have moved on.


The flowers in this week's slideshow are in both Plainfield and Bridgewater (the azaleas). The irises are breathtakingly gorgeous and the rhododendron has come to bloom. Near my workplace, the planters that had the berries which fed the winter robins now have really pretty flowers. If you click on the arrow icon on the lower right, you can make this full screen. There are also links in it which lead to the Photobucket album if you want to see "still" photos.

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What are these?

This is a tree on the corner of my apartment parking lot. I have no clue what it is. But the "cones" of blossoms are very fragrant. Anyone know?

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Pigeon on a chain

This pigeon just sat there staring at me for about ten minutes. Hey, take a picture! It lasts longer! Watchung Avenue in Plainfield.

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Lush poison ivy

The poison ivy at the Bridgewater Train Station is loving the latest rainfall. Despite workers coming through hacking a lot of the overflowing vines, it's thriving. I hope they realized it's poison ivy or they're still mighty itchy today.

The adventures of the lone baby ...

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And then there were 'shrooms

This is very weird. These ONLY sprouted up alongside the station for the solar panels at the Bridgewater Train Station. The mulch is the same all around the ball park there, yet the mushrooms are only growing within the fenced area by all the controls.

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Cool mushrooms

Still in that fenced enclosure. Ah, nothing like the smell of fresh mulch in the morning! (Ewww!)

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Luna moth

Sigh. I think the downpour of rain killed it, but I had to photograph it anyway. Luna moths are the largest moth in North America and they're way cool. Parking lot of the U-Haul on East Second Street in Plainfield. I just wish it were alive.

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Another sad tale

This bird's egg was at the Bridgewater Train Station, not particularly near any bird nests at all. When I picked it up, I noticed a crack on the end and two apparent teeth (or claw) marks on the side. Not to worry in the long run, though. I hear plenty of baby birds under the bridge and even outside my windows at my apartment. They'll still be able to take over the world.

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I wish!

Unfortunately, they don't enforce this on the trains I ride for my commute. I wish NJ Transit enforced the Quiet Commute cars on EVERY trip, not just the peak trips in and out of Newark/NYC. Loud people annoy me. Tinny music heard from dozens of feet away from ear buds or electronics doohickeys themselves annoy me. I often resort to putting my own ear buds in and listening to my own music so I don't have to hear others. But no one but me can hear my music ... even if they're sitting next to me. I don't like annoying others!

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Oh, good! Staycation! Catnip!

No, Vincent. I'm not just on staycation to give you cat treats and catnip! Sure, that will be a part of it, but sheesh ...!


lynn1 said...

Jackie, Enjoyed all your beautiful photos. I don't know for sure what your mystery tree is but it looks similar to a white lilac. Check this out:

Delee said...

This is what I found for the white flowers....go find pictures
black cherry Rosaceae Prunus serotina

Leaf:Alternate, simple, 2 to 5 inches long, oblong to lance-shaped, finely serrated, very small inconspicuous glands on petiole, dark green and lustrous above, paler below; usually with a dense yellowish-brown, sometimes white pubescence along mid-rib.
Flower:Small white flowers in hanging, narrow clusters 4 to 6 inches long, appearing in late spring.
Fruit:Dark purple round drupe, almost black when ripe, 1/3 inch in diameter with a bitter-sweet taste; matures in late summer.
Twig:Slender, reddish brown, sometimes covered in gray epidermis, pronounced bitter almond odor and taste; buds are very small (1/5 inch),covered in several glossy, reddish brown to greenish scales; leaf scars are small and semicircular with 3 bundle scars.
Bark:Smooth with numerous short, narrow, horizontal lenticels when young; becomes very dark (nearly black), breaking up into small, rough, irregular, upturned plates (burnt corn flakes), when older.
Form:Medium sized tree which (on good sites) develops a long, straight, clear bole and can reach heights approaching 100 feet.

Jackie said...

Delee - That seems to be what it is, black cherry tree. I looked them up and found out that they don't start to bear fruit until they're over ten years old. This one should be just about that age or so. I recall it being a bush rather than a tree some years back. It's now definitely a tree!

David said...

Great pictures as always. I would love to see what that moth looks like in flight. Probably very cool.

I notice the sign-up for live BB feeds is now up with an early bird special. $3.00 off the season pass or 20% off the monthly pass price if sign up for season.

Do you have an affiliate deal with CBS Jackie? If I was going to sign up I would want you to get something for it. Not sure if I will though because you do such a great job explaining all that happens in the nut house. LOL

Jackie said...

Thank you for the comments on the photos, David. I've seen luna moths in flight ... very cool.

Um. Actually what you posted about the Early Bird live feeds subscription was what I planned on posting about the show. Stay tuned!

David said...

Sorry, =[ I didn't mean to step on your toes Jackie. I can delete the post if you want me to or you can.

Jackie said...

No, it's fine, David. I'll still post about it tomorrow.

SueGee said...

Beautiful flowers!! And cute little squirrel...

And a big YES to Fargo, although we tend to let the DVR record it and pick it up another night.

SueGee on the LeftCoast