Archive for April, 2012

April 30, 2012

Green Day 3: pH Testing

pH Test. Apparently tap water is neutral/ alkaline.

As a former chemistry minor and present Person Who Is Attracted To Colorful Shiny Objects… I had to go check out this pH display.

pH stands for “potential Hydrogen,” and it’s basically (forgive me, chemists) an approximation of how many hydrogen ions are in a liquid. Lots of hydrogen ions = low pH = acidic; few hydrogen ions = high pH = basic/ alkaline.

This particular company (Pur2o) was trying to sell us on the idea that water should be BASIC, not neutral, and set up this display to prove how acidic most bottled water is, particularly compared to their own very alkaline water. (I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that they used phenol red as their pH indicator.) Several fairgoers were skeptical about the underlying concept of this.

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April 29, 2012

Green Day 2: Tiny Turtle

Rizzo and the tiny turtle!

This is my favorite photo from the day.

Rizzo, of Rizzo’s Reptile Discovery, brought some tiny turtles to show off at Maplewood’s Green Day!

I was lucky enough to nab this shot while he was standing still to answer a question from the guy standing in front of me; otherwise, he was bobbing all over the place. Neither this photo nor his website give any indication of what a fun performer he is/was.

April 28, 2012

Green Day! (not the band.)

Flute player for MoodRing, at the Green Day Festival in Maplewood

In honor of Earth Day, Maplewood’s Green Day Fair was today! It was a big celebration of all things environmentally friendly.

In addition to all the vendors and eco-friendly demonstrations, the main stage featured local bands, so fairgoers were serenaded with ongoing music.

MoodRing at the main stage

This is MoodRing, a self-described jam band.

I’ll be showing a few more photos from the festival for the next few days, so stay tuned!

April 27, 2012

South Mountain overpass

South Mountain overpass

Have you ever seen a bridle trail/ hiking trail that crosses over a highway? I mean, aside from the nonroadoverpasses I’ve shown you recently. (NOBODY is supposed to use THOSE ones.) This is more in the “pedestrian overpass” category, which is totally normal, except that this is a hiking trail, not a downtown area, which is where you’d normally find pedestrian overpasses.

This one can be found in the South Mountain Reservation, allowing the Lenape Trail to safely cross South Orange Avenue.

April 26, 2012

Pretty white flowers

Small, white heads/clusters of tiny flowers... possibly an elderberry?

Sometimes I just like to take pictures of pretty flowers. So sue me.

This might be an elderberry, but I’m not entirely sure. What do you think?

April 25, 2012


Behold the beam of light!

When I stepped off the train at Summit, I was greeted by a big glittering beam of light at the other end of the platform, slanting down over the top of the train, illuminating the evening dust.

Naturally, I whipped out my camera and tried to capture it. Not sure I succeeded.

In any event, this shows the new monitors at Summit. The monitors let you know which train is coming next, and whether that next train actually stops at your stop. Either I don’t notice things (very possible) or they were just installed a couple weeks ago.

April 24, 2012


You big sap.

Who doesn’t love sap? (Rhetorical question, probably a lot of people. But it’s so sparkly!)

April 23, 2012

The littlest park

Can you throw them over your shoulder, like a Continental soldier? Do your ears hang low?

This statue in Springfield of a Continental soldier has the distinction of standing on the smallest state park in New Jersey. How cool is that!

…It’s almost the sort of thing they’d make a sitcom episode about!

April 22, 2012

Fishing for birds

Fishing lure in a tree...?

Someone went fishing in the Passaic River and got his/her lure tangled in a tree!

April 21, 2012

A slice of history

Rings on a tree

In the Frelinghuysen Arboretum, there’s a display with an old stump. It has numbers to point out which rings are associated with what years, and why those years are historically relevant— much like the famed Giant Sequoia in NYC’s Museum of Natural History, but on a much smaller and more local scale.

“19,” for example, is for 1968, when the Great Swamp was officially called a National Wilderness Area.

Almost all of the associated history is of local interest only, and even some of those local interests are questionable. (Since when does Morristown care about Atlantic City?) Here’s the complete list, in case you have some burning curiosity:

  1. 1738 – Morris County is created by the state legistlature
  2. 1738 – Colonel Lewis Morris of the province of colonial New Jersey becomes first governor
  3. 1755 – The Morristown Green is first used and constructed to serve as the town courthouse and jail
  4. 1777 – George Washington spends 5 months in Morris County with his troops
  5. 1787 – New Jersey becomes the third state to join the Union
  6. 1790 – Trenton is selected to become the state capital
  7. 1816 – The First Presbyterian Church is founded in Morristown
  8. 1835 – Morris and Essex Railroad Company chartered
  9. 1861 – The Civil War begins
  10. 1865 – The sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln is assassinated by John Wilkes Booth
  11. 1879 – Thomas Edison invents the first light bulb
  12. 1887 – Matilda Felinghuysen is born in New York City
  13. 1891 – “Whippany Farms,” now known as Frelinghuysen Arboretum, is built as a summer home for the Frelinghuysen family
  14. 1915 – Alison Turnbull Hopkins, Officer of the Women’s Political Union, campaigns for New Jersey’s suffrage referendum in Morristown
  15. 1926Bell Laboratories converts a dairy barn into experimental radio station to develop high power broadcasting
  16. 1929The Seeing Eye is originally incorporated into Morristown
  17. 1930 – Charles B. Darrow develops the game Monopoly. Names in the game originate from Atlantic City street names
  18. 1939 – More than 50,000 New Jersey residents join the WWII effort
  19. 1968The Great Swamp is classified as a National Wilderness Area; it is a landmark event
  20. 1969 – Matilda Frelinghuysen dies at the age of 82
  21. 1971 – The Frelinghuysen Arboretum is dedicated
  22. 1978 – New Jersey legalizes gambling in Atlantic City. One of four casinos opens to an enthusiastic response
  23. 1975 – “Branching Out!,” the children’s gardening program, is started by the Garden Club of Morristown in conjunction with the Morris County Park Commission

Just in case you thought I was making this up, you can read it for yourself.

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