Sunday, July 17, 2016

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - July 17, 2016

Good morning! Since it's Sunday morning, 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. If you're here for Big Brother news, everything I have for you can be found at this link. I'll be posting another live feeds report tonight as well as live-blogging the aired show. But this ain't that. This post is a year-round regular "feature" while Big Brother is a summer obsession. Or, something like that.

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate heat and humidity? During my staycation, I practically barricaded myself inside with air conditioning to avoid the weather. I wish I could have done the same this past week (and, I'd like to do it next week, as well). We had another week of horridly hot and humid weather and next week looks pretty much the same. I'm dreading my electric bill because I've been running the air conditioning so much. Yesterday, I think I might have even had signs of the beginning of heat exhaustion when I arrived at my workplace. I was sweating profusely, dizzy and suddenly nauseous. It went away after a few hours, but ...!

Other than going back and forth to work, sweating a lot and blessing air conditioning for any time I can spend inside ... it's been a rather dull week. I think I got a few decent photos despite sweat dripping down into my eyes. And, on a positive note, living in this area, I won't have to invest in a sauna.

I wouldn't mind if my apartment had a pool, though. I have decided that, if I ever were to come into enough money to go wild, I'd buy a house with my own INDOOR personal pool that I could enjoy year 'round. For now, I guess I'll have to make due with my bathtub. I'm not into going to the public pools or down the shore where everybody is. I like solitude or just close friends, not crowds or a gazillion kids running amok.

Onto this week's photos ... clicking on an image will open it in a larger version.

Flower-of-an-Hour (Hibiscus trionum)

Thanks and a shout-out go to Bernice for telling me about these way cool flowers! This is the first year they're growing in a patch of rocky dirt near the Bridgewater Train Station. After the jump, I have a short series of their various incarnations at different times of the day.

Oooh! A pet for Vincent!

A sign outside of Pete's Fish Market on East Second Street in Plainfield.

Monday night's moon

Hibiscus Tree blossom


Get up, stand up

If the squirrels ever stage a coup, we're sunk. If they get together with the birds, it will be the end of life as we know it.

A rose grows ...

... on East Front Street in Plainfield.

NYC green cab on East Front Street

I notice they finally painted over the threatening MS-13 gang graffiti on that building. Someone has already done more graffiti, but at least it's not threatening death ...

Busy bee

East Front Street bunny

This rabbit was lounging about on the grounds of the Richmond Towers apartments one morning as I walked to the train station.

Yay! Photo fodder!

A few years back I got some fantastic shots of Eastern Cicada Killer Wasps at the Bridgewater Train Station. This is a male defending territory (from other males) around a female's egg burrow. There was a second one vying for the territory. The males have no stinger. So, while they're huge -- they can grow up to two inches long -- they are absolutely nothing to fear. Unless, of course, you're another male cicada killer wasp. Then they charge at each other and bat each other with their wings. The females are larger and they technically can sting, but you pretty much have to be asking for it -- like grabbing them or something. The females paralyze cicadas and bring them down into the burrow so that hatching eggs can feed on them. I found the burrow this one was protecting last night when I went to the station. It's right at the base of the post on the left. The females leave a pile of dirt outside as they dig the burrow (which can be a good twenty inches deep). Well, we had torrential rain for a bit yesterday and I noticed a pile of mud there. I'll look in drier weather this coming week.

It was so hot and humid ...

How hot and humid was it? It was so hot and humid that this large branch drooped right over and now blocks the sidewalk at the Bridgewater Train Station. That's not a train I'm about to miss in the background. I just got off my train heading to work when I took this photo. That's on the other track, heading to Penn Station, New York. (As opposed to Penn Station, Newark -- which causes confusion when people don't speak clearly. This particular train in the photo will stop at both.)

Teensy flowers in a hedge

East Second Street in Plainfield. They're maybe a half-inch wide.


8:00 in the morning

9:00 in the morning


Burst of color among the rocks

Only the hardiest of plant life can exist in the rocks set down to create a berm rising for the Bridgewater Train Station platforms. I look for snakes there, but never see any. Of course, I also look for bears all the time and I'm not seeing them either. 

Hibiscus trees in action

Although my workplace didn't do the beautiful large Hibiscus flowers in the planters this year (grr), at least I can enjoy these trees growing between two yards in Plainfield.

A Mimosa Tree starting out?

Bernice was right once again! I'll have to defer to her as my flora expert. Around the corner from me on Berckman Street, I noticed these growing in a tangle of assorted plants -- roses, nightshade and even a newly sprouting Hibiscus tree. At night these close up so much that it appears they vanish. But, the next day, there they are again!


They MUST be abandoned for giveaway since children aren't supposed to be playing in my apartment building's common area corridors!

More catnip, please

Vincent has such a hard life, doesn't he?


Palmaltas said...

Amazing photos this morning with the flowers plus the info on cicada killer wasps.

SueGee said...

Those killer wasps are something I hope I never run into LOL Glad they are an Eastern thing!

SueGee on the LeftCoast

Russ said...

Don't worry... If the squirrels and birds ever get together, they will, most probably, fight each other to the death over who gets the contents of bird feeders...

Becky said...

Jackie, I enjoy your writing. I will admit that "If the squirrels ever stage a coup, we're sunk. If they get together with the birds, it will be the end of life as we know it." cracked me up!

Loved the pictures -- as usual. Of course Vincent is always my favorite. Will try and remember to bring his drug of choice to the pool party tonight.

The heat in South Texas has been unbelievable. I hate to think that August and September are usually hotter! It seems like it has been in the 90's forever! I am so thankful that I am retired. I go days without going outside if I don't have to do so.

BTW, I always check out your pictures even if I don't post.

elee86 said...

Jackie, you take beautiful photos, I especially like the flowers :)

Anonymous said...

I feel guilty saying that it is foggy, drizzly, breezy and cool in San Francisco. It is probably barely 60 degrees over here. I love your pictures. They are so beautiful. Enjoy your work week and I'm sorry about the hot weather.

Zoe in California

Jackie said...

Thanks for all the kind words about the photos!