Archive for ‘Somerset County’

January 29, 2013

Ice on a spillway

Ice ice ice ice ice ice ice.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: ICE ON A SPILLWAY. Because this is a spillway, and that is ice.

(It’s a little creek near Seeley’s Pond, right on the tri-border of Berkeley Heights, Scotch Plains, and Watchung.)

March 11, 2012

The best dam ever!

Best Lake, you're the best!

It’s no better than any other dam, really, but the lake it’s associated with is called “Best Lake,” so there ya go.

The Best Lake dam and spillway (which is what I’m guessing this is) in Watchung was reconstructed in 2008, according to a nearby marker.

Dedicated in 2008. I'm not gonna list all those names here.

I think I might go buy myself a neutral density filter and revisit this place, because I am pretty unhappy with the way this turned out.

March 10, 2012

We three geese

Geese on a hill!

Enough with all these local histories I’ve been inundating you with for the past few days!

Here are some Canada geese on a hill by Best Lake in Watchung.

February 28, 2012


Note the Mercedes.

When I checked out Johnston Drive for its Weird NJ folklore, I was not expecting anything beyond a road with some bumps.

What a view!

The panoramic mountaintop vista views were completely unexpected and A-MA-ZING.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to photograph them very well; it was the wrong time of day, and the wrong KIND of day, and I didn’t want to trespass too much, and there were trees and power lines and houses in the way, and I am unfortunately somewhat limited by my equipment.

Those hills! I'm standing on one part of the First Watchung Mountain, looking west at another part of the First Watchung Mountain.

But that didn’t stop me from wandering around and gazing at 180-degree panoramas and trying to bring them home with me.

February 23, 2012


Daffodils! What!

Do daffodils usually start peeking up in February? Is this normal? Or have they been lulled into a false sense of spring? Am I crazy? Help me out here.

February 22, 2012

Thirteen bumps

Johnston Drive, site of 13 buried witches. Or something.


Back in the days of Feltville, the children of the village kept disappearing. It was eventually decided that THIRTEEN MURDEROUS SISTERS were responsible for the childrens’ disappearances. The “witches” were all hanged and buried beneath Johnston Drive, which was dirt at the time. Because, I mean, obviously, what better place to bury someone than somewhere your wagon wheel could accidentally plunge into a muddy half-rotten grave, right?

But I digress. Their graves created small bumps in the road, as graves in a road are presumably wont to do.

After Johnston Drive was paved in later years, THE THIRTEEN BUMPS EMERGED FROM THE GROUND.

The bumps were removed and paved flat. YET AGAIN, THIRTEEN BUMPS EMERGED IN THE ROAD.

And it KEPT HAPPENING. Every time.

According to the story, if you drive over the bumps and count all thirteen, say “thirteen witches,” and then look behind you, you can see the witches following you. DUN DUN DUUUNNNNNNN!!!

Personally, I didn’t really notice any outstanding bumps when I drove (‘Was that a bump? Maybe that one? Maybe all of these bumps? If they all count, there are way more than 13 bumps here’), so this is just a generic photo of the road. I kept thinking of a quote I’d read earlier: “Every time I go there I’m either drunk or high so I count like 52 or like 5 bumps, so I’m looking around for a hell of a lot of witches or I’m wondering what the hell is going on” (Weird N.J. n.d., para. 2).

(Just to be clear: I was neither drunk nor high, Mom.)

One more reasonable theory asserts that Johnston Drive has lots of bumps ‘cos it’s always been a steep and tortuous road through the mountains, and bumps used to help prevent carriages from sliding backwards down the hills.

For other more reasonable theories, check out my sources below. OR TELL YOUR OWN TALES.



Everson, E. (2011). “The ghosts of Union County: 13 bumps for 13 witches.”

Weird N.J. (n.d.). “Bumps road revisited.”

January 3, 2011

Home Depot is EVERYWHERE

Overlooking the Watchung Reservation

Don’t let this photo fool you— we’ve still got leftover snow.

I initially thought that was the edge of the Watchung Reservation in the background, but it turns out it’s just some trees. It’s pretty nearby, though!

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