Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Plainsboro CCA Meeting

This evening at 7:30 FVCSA Board President Paul Nolting and Vice President Av Magram will attend a meeting of the Council of Community Associations at the Plainsboro Municipal Center. Issues on the agenda include a status report on economic development of the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, the Village Center, Plainsboro Plaza Shopping Center and Princeton Forrestal Center. There will also be a township update on the the Plainsboro Police Community Program.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Unsightly Site

There is little doubt that the recently added pet waste stations situated throughout the community are a big hit with dog owners. They're a welcome addition to non-dog owners as well, who no longer have to contend with gifts left behind on their lawns and in their flower beds. This seems to be a good solution to an issue that had become a serious problem for our management company. However, we just have to wonder why this particular station was installed on one of the prettiest open stretches of the Loop Road, at the entrance to the tennis and basketball courts. You can't miss it if you're anywhere in the vicinity — a beacon, if you will, to something we just might not want to highlight. Instead this station could have been placed around the bend off the Loop Road, just a few more steps for dog walkers. This is not an attractive addition to Princeton Landing and its location should be reconsidered.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nature Guide: Owls

New Jersey is home to several different species of owls. Some are here in winter, but others are year-round residents. Our Nature Guide Jon Latimer tells us about three owls we can find in the area around Princeton Landing.

"Owls are nighttime predators that are easiest to see at dusk or dawn. They fly silently, hunting rodents, rabbits or insects. Sometimes the only sign that they are around is the sound of their call in the darkness. Or, you may locate an owl during daylight by the noise of other birds "mobbing" it in its roost.

"Owl have big heads, short necks and large eyes. Their eyes are fixed in their sockets, so an owl must turn its head to shift its gaze. They have big feet with powerful talons used to catch prey. Females are larger than males.

"The Great Horned Owl is the largest owl in our area. An adult can be up to 25 inches long and have a wingspan of up to 5 feet. They vary in color from reddish brown to gray. Their underside is light gray with dark bars and they have a "bib" of white feathers on the upper breast. Their name comes from the two tufts of feathers on their head that look like "horns." These are sometimes referred to as "ear tufts," but they have nothing to do with hearing. They are just feathers.

"A Great Horned Owl is an excellent hunter. Its large yellow-orange eyes are adapted to dim light and the leading edges of its feathers are serrated, allowing its flight to be practically silent. It usually becomes active at dusk but sometimes can be seen in late afternoon or early morning. In the daytime it is sometimes harassed by crows or jays. Its deep hoots usually follow a pattern of hoo, hoo-hoo . . . hoo . . . hooh.

"The smaller Barn Owl is a pale color overall and has an unusual heart-shaped face with dark eyes, long legs and a short, squared-off tail. Adults reach up to 14 inches long and have a wingspan of up to 44 inches. Barn Owls hunt at night, flying slowly along the edges of woods or above open ground. They feed primarily on small rodents and katydids or crickets. Barn Owls nest inside barns, abandoned buildings, caves and dense trees. When approached, they have a peculiar habit of lowering their head and swaying back and forth. Instead of hooting, Barn Owls make a rising wheezy cry, metallic clicks or a raspy hiss.

"The smallest owl in our area, the Eastern Screech-Owl, is fairly common but often overlooked. Smaller than a robin, an adult screech-owl is only 8 inches long and has a wingspan of up to 22 inches. They live in areas with large trees, such as suburbs and parks. In fact, a screech-owl has been seen occasionally in the trees around The Smith House. Screech-owls are either rusty or dark gray, with streaks on their breast. They become active around dusk, hunting rodents and insects. During the day they roost in cavities in trees or on a branch near the trunk. Their quavering call sounds like a horse's "whinny."

Photo by Patrick Coin

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Attention Homeowners

Friday, September 25, 2009

Nature Guide: Eastern Cottontail

This little bunny and I startled one another when he appeared in my front garden, nestled next to some lavender plants. He waited while I got my camera and allowed me to photograph him. Then he hopped off, I presume, to enjoy another garden in Princeton Landing.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Local Music

On Friday, October 16, at 8 pm, the Arts Council of Princeton will present The Eric Mintel Quartet as part of the Jazz at the Robeson Center series in the Solley Theater at the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts. The quartet includes (left to right) Eric Mintel on piano, Nelson Hill on saxes and flute, Dave Antonow on bass and Dave Mohn on drums. The concert will feature music from the EMQ's newest CD 50 Years After . . . A Tribute to Dave Brubeck, which includes Brubeck classics "Blue Rondo a la Turk," "Three to Get Ready" and Paul Desmond's classic "Take Five." The concert will also highlight new music by Eric, including "Keeping the Faith", "Just Happened" and others.

The Paul Robeson Center for the Arts is located at 102 Witherspoon Street in Princeton. Admission for the performance is $15; $10 for Arts Council members, seniors and students. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling 609-924-8777. Parking is available in the Spring and Hulfish Street garages as well as metered parking along Witherspoon Street and Paul Robeson Place. Events in the Solley Theater are made possible by Bloomberg, New Jersey State Council on the Arts and Princeton Shopping Center.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Greening Princeton Farmers' Market

Tuesdays through October 27. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First Day of Fall

Thanks to our hard-working Brickman crew.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Farewell to Summer

On the Grasshopper and the Cricket

The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper's--he takes the lead
In summer luxury,--he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
The Grasshopper's among some grassy hills.

— John Keats

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fall Farmers' Market

On Tuesdays from September 22 through October 27 the Greening Princeton Farmers' Market will return to Firestone Plaza at Princeton University. The market will be open from 11 am to 3 pm, rain or shine, and will feature locally grown, raised or produced items, including Jersey Fresh seasonal produce, free-range eggs and poultry, naturally raised meats, locally baked bread and focaccia, shade-grown artisan coffee and other artisanal goods. There will be live music throughout the day, as well as cooking demonstrations and information about nutrition and sustainability initiatives at Princeton. The market is on the campus at Firestone Library and Chapel Plaza. Click here for a map.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pool Season Ends

Tomorrow the Smith House pool will close for the season. The Parcel 1 pool closed on Labor Day. Thanks to Candlewood Management and to property manager Matt Lubas for another enjoyable summer. Our pools continue to be the most popular amenity at Princeton Landing.

Friday, September 18, 2009

L'Shanah Tovah Tikatevu

Wishing our Princeton Landing neighbors celebrating
Rosh Hashanah good health, happiness, peace,
prosperity and a sweet year ahead

Attention Parents: Apple Day Weekend

Tomorrow and Sunday, September 19 and 20, Terhune Orchards will celebrate their annual Apple Day Weekend from 10 am to 5 pm. The fall harvest festival will include farm wagon rides and horse-drawn wagon rides, pony rides, pick-your-own pumpkins and pumpkin painting, scarecrow making and a corn maze. The Gallery Barn will host a show and sale of sculpture by Ruthann Perry, and there will be music throughout the day by the Daisy Jug Band. Food will be available at Pam's cafe, including an "Everything Apple" buffet of pies, donuts, muffins and salad, as well as hot dogs, soup, chicken and fresh pork sandwiches from the outdoor pig roast. Parking for Apple Day is at the farm this year (not at Bristol-Myers Squibb). Terhune Orchards is located at 330 Cold Soil Road in Princeton. Apple Day is held rain or shine. Admission is $5 per person. Children under 3 are admitted for free.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How Many Roads

1936 - 2009

Trader Joe's Grand Opening

Specialty grocer Trader Joe's has announced that the grand opening of their Princeton store will take place on Friday, September 25. Store hours will be 9 am to 9 pm daily. The new store is located in the Square at West Windsor shopping center on Route 1 at Meadow Road. Click here for The Princeton Packet story detailing the opening day festivities, which include face painting and balloons for children.

Long-Term Capital Reserve Meeting

Tonight at 7 pm all of the parcel committees will meet at The Smith House with members of the Board of Directors, the Association's accountant Ed Guttenplan, its attorney Ron Perl, and Tom Truchan, Vice President of Finance for Signature Property Group. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the community's policy regarding long-term capital reserves.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Nature Guide: Cabbage White Butterfly

This male Cabbage White (males have one spot on each forewing; females have two) visited some lavender plants in Parcel 6.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I measure every Grief I meet
by Emily Dickinson

I measure every Grief I meet
With narrow, probing, eyes –
I wonder if It weighs like Mine –
Or has an Easier size.

I wonder if They bore it long –
Or did it just begin –
I could not tell the Date of Mine –
It feels so old a pain –

I wonder if it hurts to live –
And if They have to try –
And whether – could They choose between –
It would not be – to die –

I note that Some – gone patient long –
At length, renew their smile –
An imitation of a Light
That has so little Oil –

I wonder if when Years have piled –
Some Thousands – on the Harm –
That hurt them Early – such a lapse
Could give them any Balm –

Or would they go on aching still
Through Centuries of Nerve –
Enlightened to a larger Pain –
In Contrast with the Love –

The Grieved – are many – I am told –
There is the various Cause –
Death – is but one – and comes but once –
And only nails the Eyes –

There's Grief of Want – and Grief of Cold –
A sort they call "Despair" –
There's Banishment from native Eyes –
In sight of Native Air –

And though I may not guess the kind –
Correctly – yet to me
A piercing Comfort it affords
In passing Calvary –

To note the fashions – of the Cross –
And how they're mostly worn –
Still fascinated to presume
That Some – are like my own –

Fitness Classes at Princeton Landing

Barbara Vees, a personal trainer with Body Project Fitness & Health and a resident of Parcel 6, is announcing Trim 'n Tone Fitness at Princeton Landing. Barbara will host a "Get Fit Kick-Off" at The Smith House on Saturday, September 12, from 10 am to noon to share more information about this fitness program. Free workouts for residents to try the program will be conducted on September 15, 17, 22 and 24 from 9:15 to 10 am at The Smith House. Registration is required and space is limited. For more information call 609-336-0108 or email

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Local Music

On Saturday, September 12, from noon to 6:00 pm, Palmer Square will host its 18th annual JazzFeast in downtown Princeton. The open-air jazz festival features jazz performances on the Green and showcases food from a variety of local restaurants. The Jazz lineup includes Alan Dale and The New Legacy Jazz Band (12:00–1:00 pm), Princeton University Jazztet (1:15–2:15 pm), Marlene VerPlanck Group (2:30–3:30 pm), Roomful of Blues (3:45–4:45 pm) and the Smith Street Society Jazz Band (5:00–6:00 pm). The Feast vendors are Blossom's Catering, Buzzetta Festival Foods, Chez Alice Gourmet Cafe & Bakery, Masala Grill, Mediterra, Mehek, Olives, The Original SoupMan, Teresa Caffe, Thomas Sweet Chocolate, Tico's Eatery & Juice Bar, Tiger Noodles, Tiger's Tale, Triumph Brewing Company, Underground Cafe, Winberies and Yankee Doodle Tap Room.

JazzFeast will be held rain or shine. Admission is free for musical performances; food vendors charge accordingly.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Thousand Words

Monday, September 7, 2009

Storm King Art Center

Storm King Art Center celebrates postwar sculpture in an open landscape of fields, lawns and woodlands. The 500-acre site in the Hudson Highlands provides a dramatic setting for the Art Center's collection of monumental works by renowned artists. Click the arrow in the center of the image below to see a series of photographs from Storm King. To view the same photos in full size, use this link to Picasa Web and after the album opens click the slideshow button in the upper left corner. Storm King Art Center is located in Mountainville, New York, about a two-hour drive from Princeton.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Nature Guide: Hummingbird Clearwing Moth

Just like a hummingbird, this Hummingbird Clearwing moth hovers briefly, sips for a few seconds and darts off to another flower. Click on the photos to see its transparent wings, moving almost too fast for the camera to catch.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Nature Guide: Skipper Butterfly

Summer is ending and the lantana flowers are fading, but this Skipper doesn't seem to mind.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

End of Summer

This weekend marks the unofficial end of summer. After Labor Day the Smith House pool will no longer be open on weekdays. It will remain open on the weekends of September 12–13 and September 19–20. The Parcel 1 pool will close for the season after Labor Day.

This was a busy summer at the pools. With so many residents enjoying the sun and the water, inevitably some problems arose. The management office received several complaints this year about residents not paying attention to the posted rules. This past weekend, for example, a woman swimming laps in the marked lane was hit in the head by two other people throwing a football. Earlier in the summer some residents and their visitors insisted on entering the pool without recreation badges, and would not cooperate with the lifeguards when they were denied entry. On other occasions parents did not supervise their children and also would not cooperate when the lifeguards tried to address the problem.

We should keep these incidents in perspective, but as the season ends it's worth a reminder to be courteous and neighborly. The association's rules provide for the safety and enjoyment of everyone using the pools. The lifeguards have a responsibility to enforce them for everyone's benefit.

And as September begins schools are reopening. School buses will be back in the community making stops along the Loop Road. Drivers should be careful to watch for children. Parents waiting in their cars should be careful not to block neighbors' driveways or community roads.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ridiculous Design Rule #1