I know they're trite and overdone and cliched and everything else, but our sunflowers bloomed today, and despite their prevalence in pop culture, sunflowers are STILL pretty darn cool.
(And a side note, for those interested in Monmouth County, NJ: here, sunflowers are not weeds as they are in the midwest. If you see a sunflower in NJ, chances are pretty good that someone went to the trouble of actually planting it.)
A cactus? In New Jersey?!
This is a prickly pear cactus. Wikipedia says: "Prickly pears are also the only types of cactus natively found to grow in the eastern United States. Opuntia [the prickly pear genus] are the most cold-tolerant of the lowland cacti, extending into western and southern Canada."
They're not common around here--I only ever see them in Sandy Hook, which is a sandy windy salt-marshy kind of area. And half of the cacti that I see there look like half-rotten roadkill (yes, I'm sure they're not ACTUALLY roadkill), so I can't say that they exactly thrive in this area.
Bug molts lying around don't gross me out as much as they could, mostly because I've had hermit crabs for about 15 years, and they molt 1-2 times per year, so I'm used to seeing hairy disembodied exoskeletons lying around. (but not for long, 'cos the crabs eat the exoskeletons shortly after molting to reabsorb the chitin.)
...I mean, don't get me wrong, even after 15 years, I find that picking up a disembodied hairy leg is still kind of gross... but it's probably significantly less gross than it would be if I HADN'T been exposed to it for 15 years.
This description is TOTALLY unrelated to the photo. But so it goes.
Sometimes, it's good to know that other peoples' photographic etiquette is as bad as my own.
Before the Ocean Grove Summer Band concert last night (every Wednesday in the summer, 8:00PM--if you're a musician, show up at the Pavillion on the boardwalk at 7:30PM Monday for a rehearsal--no auditions or registration needed), I was warming up outside. I usually stand at the edge of the boardwalk and blow some notes out to sea for ~10 minutes, trying to ignore the people walking behind me and staring. Last night, I heard a click directly behind me, so I turned to look. Someone was taking my picture!
I blinked at the person a few times, and I went back to warming up. For as many times as I've tried to get candid photos of strangers, I figured, y'know, what the heck--I'll cut this guy a break. I did think that maybe, after we'd MADE EYE CONTACT and I was clearly aware that he was invading my personal space (within the 3-foot radius!), he might introduce himself or say SOMETHING to me, but... no. I heard a few more clicks before he disappeared as silently as he'd arrived.
So if you see a photo of a trombone player looking out to sea... with really messed-up hair (damn those sea breezes)... you'll know what you're looking at.
Well, clearly I should've posted yesterday's church on a Sunday, not a Saturday, but anyway.
Yeah, I forgot to tell youse folks--one of my MCDP photos made it into the Monmouth Review (Monmouth University's annual art and literature magazine). I am now a published photographer! Sort of.
(BY THE WAY--being the first of the month, today is City Daily Photo Theme Day! The theme this month is "your local corner shop" [which I didn't participate in 'cos our "local corner shops" have all turned into 7-11s--even my good old Krauzer's]. But go look at some nifty shops around the world!)
Ugh. It's gardening time. And time for an experiment, sort of, in not-sharply-defined focus.
On a completely random note, for some reason, Roger Miller's "King of the Road" goes through my head every time I look at this photo for more than 5 seconds.
Did you ever lean back in your seat at school and look at the ceiling... and wonder what it would be like if lights were on the floor and desks were stuck to the ceiling? I used to imagine walking on particleboard (being careful not to step on the long fluorescent lights) while wondering if the glue that secured the furniture to the ceiling was actually strong enough. I thought it would be neat to decorate a room like that--or at least make a walk-through art installation of it.
When I look at this photo, I see some sort of otherworldly scenario, with waist-high anemones sprouting from the floor, and an undulating cave of light formed by some incredible natural phenomenon. What do you see?
Lilacs have been featured in poetry and songs throughout the ages, presumably because the flowers are associated with springtime, first love, and innocence. Or, more likely, that symbolism is WHY they're featured in poetry and songs. Either way.
Personally, I've always felt a stronger emotional attatchment to honeysuckle.
Despite catchy signs encouraging people not to litter, people still leave trash (like this abandoned water bottle) all over the place. In all fairness, though, this bottle was sitting on a bench in a tennis court, so it's more likely that the owner just set it down and forgot to pick it up.
Editor's note: Those "circles" are condensation collected on the inside of the bottle--just to avoid any potential confusion as to what you're looking at.
Ever looked closely at a wall? It's kind of interesting.
(This particular wall belongs to our local Tar-JHEY, which is how many of us pronounce Target. Maybe not many of us. But some of us get a kick out of imagining it as a classy French store.)