Day 266

“They couldn’t have been spies,” a flabbergasted Montclair woman said to the New York Times when she was told her neighbors  had been arrested as Russian spies.  “Look what she did with the hydrangea.”

Of course it's dark: I don't have special spy photography equipment!

Hydrangea, shutters & curtains, neat modest colonial, and school-age daughters aside, the U.S. government took Richard and Cynthia Murphy away and charged them with espionage along with 9 other Russians who were arrested across country  in a sweeping sting operation on Sunday.

Tonight I walked  from my house to their modest and plain somewhat plain (read neutral, innocuous) colonial on Marquette Road in Montclair where the alleged Russian spies lived, and found a scene right out of Close Encounter of the Third Kind: nearby homes with their window shades drawn, a street lit up by news vans and buzzing with reporters. WPIX TV was there, and a man sat in his car across from a larger van with a big satellite transmission tower,  tapping furiously  on his illuminated laptop.

“Look at that guy,” Toni said as I trained my cell phone camera on his passenger side window and snapped a shot of darkness and blur. “He’s a cyber-spy for sure.”

Spy House in Daylight (nice hydrangeas, too) photo from

The headlines are splashy enough to speak for themselves. All I know for sure is what I read in the papers, but I’ll tell you what — it was enough to get me out for a two hour walk in the middle of a heat wave!

FBI Arrests 10 Alleged Russian Spies, Montclair Couple Charged As Secret Agents (Baristanet)

In Ordinary Lives, U.S. Sees the Work of Russian Agents (New York Times)

Accused Russian Spies Lived Deep Under Cover in Montclair ( / Star-Ledger)