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New Jersey wild turkeys: a Thanksgiving delight 

Four wild turkeys were among a gang of eight visiting a wooded area of Monmouth County on Monday..I was pulling into the driveway of our art director's Monmouth County studio yesterday when I saw a cluster of huge birds crossing the road.


“Turkeys!” I shouted with excitement as I parked haphazardly, grabbed my camera and ran  into the woods after them. They did not look exactly like the fancier wild turkeys I used to see behind my house when I lived in a wooded area of Pennsylvania, and I was not sure if they were turkeys or turkey vultures (an image search would later solve that). Either way, I knew I had to get shots of them.


I found the birds, eight of them, feasting amid the fallen leaves. I followed them quietly and cautiously, using a zoom lens to get my shots. As this gang of birds roamed from place to place looking for the choicest fall eats, I inched closer and closer. At one point I was standing as still as I possibly could while taking photos, and they were near enough that I could have reached out and grabbed one.


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Lidl vs Aldi: Competition is awesome 

Signs of things to come along Route 35 in Hazlet, where Lidl and Aldi stores are expected to open in direct competition on opposite sides of the highway later this month.According to the lone Aldi cashier that rang through my purchases yesterday in Union, that store will be opening at 8 a.m. starting Monday. 

Maybe this is a first time ever, holiday-related change in store hours from the regular 9 a.m. opening?

Nah, it's because of competition from the other German supermarket chain that opened in the area earlier this week. No word yet on whether hours will change at Aldi stores not in close proximity to a Lidl store.

It's probably only a matter of time before there's a Lidl store not far from almost every Aldi store. Both store chains are expanding their presence in the U.S. Aldi has been here longer and has more locations, but Lidl is opening its new stores rather quickly. 

The next New Jersey Lidl store is scheduled to open Nov. 28 on Route 35 in Hazlet, and Aldi is planning to move from its older Hazlet store, also on Route 35, to a newer store just across the highway. Finishing touches were being added to that store in part of a shuttered Pathmark. 

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Lidl to open third New Jersey supermarket Nov. 14 in Union 

Uniformity in sleek architecture is a big part of brand identity for Lidl supermarkets. The Hazlet store shown is expected to open Nov. 28 and will be the fourth to open in New Jersey. The state's first Lidl store opened in Vineland in fall of 2017.When the Lidl store on the westbound side of Route 22 in Union opens this Wednesday, it will be the German supermarket chain's third New Jersey location. 

To give our readers a preview of what's to come, we traveled to the Eatontown Lidl last week to see exactly what's beneath the sloping roof and behind the glass facade of this company's sleek architectural branding. 

We love Lidl's exterior design and the abundance of natural light from all the windows. We found surprisingly low food prices, many more famliar brands than one typically finds at Aldi, unusual imports, as well as meats and other products sourced in the U.S. (One example was an organic vinegar-based "shrub" soda from North Carolina in flavors like peach-ginger-cinnamon and watermelon-basil). There were toys, tools and Christmas decorations. Clothing, bundled or thinly boxed for bins, included $5.99 dresses and $24.99 men's ski jackets. 

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Ask Dr. Barb: Change in perspective can stop road rage 

Dr. Barbara RosenbergDear Dr. Barb:

My husband suggested that I write to you about what he considers an extreme problem with road rage. I admit I am constantly blowing my horn at idiot drivers, and there are a lot of them these days. I see people using both hands to send texts while they should have them on the wheel with their eyes on the road. I often complain and curse when in heavy traffic, and get very angry when people cut me off. I confess I’ve followed people to yell out the window at them for stupid driving that almost causes an accident. I know this anger raises my blood pressure and probably affects my health. My husband is concerned I will one day pull up on the wrong person and get hurt. Am I supposed to just let these things happen and stay calm? I would find that hard to do; however, I would appreciate any advice.

Dear Reader:

It is good to hear that you are able to listen to your husband’s concerns about road rage, which is an aggressive form of driving be havior. Examples, as you mentioned, include constant horn blasting, tailgating and cursing at those you consider to be “idiot drivers.” Road rage often is caused by low tolerance for frustration, feelings of intense irritability and poor impulse control. It can result in extreme emotional distress.

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2018 Rahway River Parkway calendar helps protect a vital NJ greenbelt

When a calendar highlights the diverse beauty of the 1,100-acre greenbelt of riverside parks from Springfield to Rahway, it becomes more than an organizational tool that marks the passing of time.

Each year since 2015, the annual Friends of Rahway River Parkway calendar has drawn local photographers and nature lovers who capture the parkway in the vivid colors of various seasons. Additionally, the calendars, which follow the seasons with appropriate images of nature and wildlife, are a major fundraiser for the organization’s efforts to win historic designation and the associated protections for the entire Rahway River Parkway.

Friends of Rahway River Parkway works to raise awareness of the parkway while advocating for and working on its preservation, restoration and enhancement.

The 2019 calendar is a standout compilation of images, beginning with the cover’s “Winter Wonderland” shot taken at Lenape Park by Cranford photographer and artist Diane Frank Metz.

Calendars are $15, and proceeds support the organization’s preservation efforts. Buy online at, which has information about the parkway, the organization’s work and re- lated events. The site lists retailers carrying the calendar, including Golden Touch Jewelers, 27 N Union Ave., Cranford; The Computer Guys, 992 St. Georges Ave., Rahway; and Williams Nursery,524 Springfield Ave., Westfield.