Sunday, July 31, 2016

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - July 31, 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 late 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.

It was another miserably hot and humid week here in New Jersey. On Monday we had a storm which almost rivaled Hurricane Sandy in intensity, albeit much more brief. It only lasted about an hour. It seems my workplace, where I was when it hit, was on the edge of what they call a "micro-burst." I was just glad I wasn't out in it!

We seem to have had pop-up storms almost daily. Unfortunately, I must have left my best big umbrella somewhere on Thursday. I didn't realize it had gone missing until late last night. Thinking back, I might have left it at the bodega around the corner on my way home from work on Thursday. I only brought a smaller umbrella to do my work commute yesterday. I don't really plan on going out today. But tomorrow, I'll ask at the bodega if anyone turned the good one in. Oh, well.

Work remains work. Gah. After six weeks come and go, I'll be into my next staycation and the weather should be a lot more bearable. Until then, I guess I'll just sweat (er, perspire, glow) and keep on working. I had to cancel the order for the Lamborghini when I heard someone in some obscure state won the Powerball Lottery after I invested two dollars in it! How dare they!

That's about it for today. Onto the photos! Clicking on an image will open a larger version.

Eastern Cicada Killer Wasp

These are so cool. Not only are they colorful and harmless, but they're a hoot to watch while they battle each other! The wing beatings actually make quite a noise. With the rain deluges we've been having, I've worried that the burrows -- they're digger wasps -- might be destroyed. But I keep seeing the males protecting them, so things must be okay. Bridgewater Train Station.

The Plainfield Train Station Groundhog

He is SO chubby! People keep feeding him bread, donuts, pizza and more. While he's still skittish around people -- he won't just walk up to them -- once they toss food, he'll certainly eat it. I would guess none of it is good for him. But, where he is, he's safe from predators and probably doesn't leave his little woodsy territory in search of food. He most likely will never get hit by a car or a train as he doesn't need to really forage. He looks healthy. Chubby, but healthy.

Honeybees are good bees!

While I'm severely allergic to bee stings, I rarely worry about your basic honey bee. It's wasps (not the Eastern Cicada Killer Wasp as it's the males you see and they have no stinger at all) and yellow-jacket hornets that worry me -- they're aggressive. Honey bees, carpenter bees, bumblebees ... they're all all rather mellow. Unless they feel really threatened, they aren't aggressive at all. Bees don't seem to mind cameras.


Now the timing is off

Because nature goes on its own time, I now miss the blooming of the flower an hour as I go through the Bridgewater Train Station on human-set timetables. They're just starting to open on the days I pass through at around 9am. I've also noticed more blossoms have passed.

Chicory blossom

I love the color and the little tassels on these blossoms growing amok just about anywhere they can. This particular blossom is at the Plainfield Train Station.

We've been working on the railroad ...

... all the livelong day. NJ Transit workers are replacing the rails on the Raritan Valley Line despite the never-ending heat waves and high humidity levels. Any day I take a train to work after the one around 8:30am, I get caught in delays as they operate single track. When I'm heading west, it's always more important to NJ Transit to let the eastbound (NYC) train go through first. So, we sit and wait. Grr. I took this shot from inside the train at the Bound Brook Train Station.


This brand new toilet sat street side on East Second Street in Plainfield for two days (that I know of). It's in front of one of the many older, neglected homes that are being rehabbed. I need a new toilet. Hmm. The pile of brush you see was cleared from the yard and is awaiting pick-up. If they don't watch it, someone will pick up the new toilet!

Little 'shrooms

We've had enough rain lately for these to spring up. The heat of the day knocks 'em right back down, though.

Burst of purple in a sea of green

Good morning, glory!

These morning glories are growing along the fence at the back of my apartment building.

Let there be color!

The pink ones are also growing along the fence at my apartment building, but aren't as prevalent as the white ones.

Spreading the spores

Oh noes! What's wrong with that bird?!?!

Oh. He's okay!

He was just taking a dust bath!

Pretty colors

I really wish they had gone with the hibiscus again this year. But, the big planters near my workplace do have an impressive array of colors. (However, I really liked the hibiscus a lot more!)

The bee's knees

A bee is really getting into the job of pollen collecting on a morning glory!

Honeybee at work

Good ol' Vincent the Cat

And, he's not on my shoulder for a change! Of course, if he had his way, he'd make me buy one of those carry doohickeys made for infants and carry him close to my heart all the time!


russ said...

The Cicada Killer Wasp looks like"You say I'm harmless... What if I decided to fly into your ear? Would you still think me harmless?"
Really great pictures this week!

Becky said...

Wonderful pictures as usual. Vincent looks like the main man!

Petals said...

Love these pics, Jax. You are so talented.

Jackie said...

Thank you!