Friday, August 31, 2012

Famous Chairs

In honor of the GOP, we've excluded women.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Monarch Passes Through

Maybe you've noticed the Monarch butterflies passing through Princeton Landing on their way south to Mexico. Here's one that dined in our garden this week.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Red-spotted Purple

We've had lots of different butterflies in the garden this summer, including this Red-spotted Purple. Our Nature Guide Jon told me that hungry birds get confused by this butterfly because it resembles the Pipevine Swallowtail and they don't like the way that butterfly tastes. That's good news for these mimics. But it's not just the birds who get confused. To me, Red-spotted Purples look like several other swallowtails, but without the tails. And the name confuses me, too. I suggested to Jon that they might more accurately be called Orange-spotted Blues. For the record, Nature Guide wasn't buying it.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Back to School

You would have to be a pretty dedicated reader of this blog to connect the pictures above with the second photo in this previous post without my help. It's my godson Tom, who just headed off to start his junior year of college. This post will probably embarrass him, but what can I say—it's my job.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Neil Armstrong

1930 – 2012

"The only thing that outshone his accomplishments was his humility about those accomplishments."
— Bob Behnken, Chief of the NASA Astronaut Office

Photo: NASA

Friday, August 24, 2012

Keeping It Classy

. . . like Donald Trump. No one is asking to see Mitt's birth certificate—just his tax returns.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hummingbird Clearwing

When I first saw a Hummingbird Clearwing moth here in Princeton Landing almost three years ago, I thought it might be a hummingbird. That's because these moths hover and feed much like hummingbirds. Clearwings get their name from the transparent inner portion of their wings. This Hummingbird Clearwing has been visiting our garden every day for the past couple of weeks. Our Nature Guide Jon thinks it looks like a flying shrimp. Interesting observation, but not very scientific. Click on the photos to enlarge and see what you think.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Thank You, Mr. President

Downton Abbey Season 3 Teaser

Have you seen this Downton Abbey Season 3 teaser? It was released by ITV in advance of the show's UK premiere this fall and features Shirley MacLaine as Martha Levinson, the American mother of Lady Cora, and our favorite, Dame Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham. The clip is just 20 seconds long, but we'll take what we can get until Season 3 airs in the US on January 6, 2013.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Another Black Swallowtail

Swallowtails have been frequent visitors to our garden this summer. Here's the latest Black Swallowtail to stop by.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Another Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

It's a great year for swallowtails in our Princeton Landing garden. And it's especially nice when one is willing to pose for photos—like this Eastern Tiger Swallowtail was.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday, Julia Child

Bon anniversaire, nos vœux les plus sincères
Que ces quelques fleurs vous apportent le bonheur
Que l'année entière vous soit douce et légère
Et que l'an fini, nous soyons tous réunis
Pour chanter en chœur: "Bon Anniversaire!"

" . . . no one is born a great cook, one learns by doing. This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook—try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!"
— Julia Child, My Life in France

Julia Child was born 100 years ago today.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Helen Gurley Brown

1922 – 2012

Helen Gurley Brown, one of the most influential magazine editors in the world, died today at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. She was 90.

Helen Gurley Brown was an author, a publisher, a businesswoman, and a wife to movie producer David Brown for over 50 years. She wrote the 1962 bestseller, Sex and the Single Girl, which came out a year before The Feminine Mystique. She was the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine for more than three decades. During her time overseeing the magazine, she turned it around and Cosmo's circulation soared to 3 million from less than 800,00. When I was a young editorial assistant at Hearst, it was a thrill just to see Mrs. Brown coming and going from her office on West 57th Street. She was the quintessential magazine editor, career woman and New Yorker. She was the real deal.

Friday, August 10, 2012

From the Police Blotter

We've reported on the recent vandalism that was rarely seen in Princeton Landing in the past. From the police blotter in today's West Windsor & Plainsboro News comes more concerning information.

Burglary/Criminal Mischief. Over the weekend of August 3 to 5, police responded to three different incidents of burglary, theft, criminal mischief, and criminal intent on Sayre Drive. Ground floor window screens were damaged on three properties. Forcible entry was noted in two residences, and property was stolen from each home.

Monday's Princeton Packet also reported on the three break-ins.

If you live in the community and see any suspicious activity, call 911 in an emergency or the Plainsboro Police Department non-emergency number: 609-799-2333.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ladies Visit the Garden

It's always exciting when several butterflies visit the garden at the same time. One afternoon last week there were two orange and black butterflies in our atrium that looked so similar I thought they were the same species. Looking more closely I could see they were different, especially when comparing the undersides of their hindwings.

The first is a Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui. The underside of its hindwing has 4 small eyespots.

The second is an American Lady, Vanessa virginiensis. The underside of its hindwing has 2 large eyespots.

When I showed our Nature Guide Jon the photos of the two species, he reminded me that I had also photographed a third species of Vanessa. A few weeks earlier we had spotted a Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta, on the D&R Canal towpath. So we've gotten to see all three of the eastern North American species of the genus Vanessa.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Wish We Were There

Photo: Emil Neff

Here's the scene right now in the Piazza Grande at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland. Our friends send greetings as they prepare to watch tonight's screening, Camille redouble, a French comedy.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Barnes Collection on PBS Tonight

PBS will re-air "The Barnes Collection" tonight at 9 pm. You can read about the Barnes Foundation and see a preview of the TV show here.

Image ©2012 The Barnes Foundation

Route 1 Traffic Test Begins Saturday

The DOT expects that all the restrictions for the Route 1 traffic analysis project will be in place by Saturday. Former FVCSA Board President Paul Nolting wrote about the test here. His piece includes how to contact local and state officials about the impact of the Route 1 project on your daily routine.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

B.D. Lenz in Princeton During August

Princeton area fans of contemporary jazz guitarist B.D. Lenz will have ample opportunity to catch a show—or two—in August.

B.D. Lenz plays a unique blend of funky soul, rhythm and blues and jazz music. He has released seven CDs, the latest of which is Five & Live. Here's where B.D. will be playing around town this month.

Saturday, August 4
On the Green
2 pm to 4 pm

9 Hulfish Street
6 pm to 9 pm

Saturday, August 11
14 Witherspoon Street
8:30 pm to 10:30 pm

Friday, August 24
3499 Route 1 South
10 pm to 1 am

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August Recycling Dates

The recycling dates in Princeton Landing for August are the 13th and the 27th. There is also a link to these dates in the right-hand column under Popular Posts.