well, leave it to the biologist to solve my plant identification conundrum! i received an e-mail from rebecca (st.amand) this morning, who recognized the mysterious invasive plant growing in my backyard to be none other than garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), a biennial plant native to europe that was introduced to the US in the late 1800's and rapidly took over. after consulting with some online sites, i now know it's a seriously invasive plant and i have to weed it before it produces seeds.

today our new office manager arrived, after our previous office manager of just two weeks decided to leave for reason unbeknownst to most people. we also got an influx of data entry people for that other project. sarah's office and the small conference room became makeshift office space for the new recruits. folks downstairs kept on asking me, "what's going on upstairs?" while i gave them the play by play of all that was taking place on the 2nd floor.

ah, my venus flytrap is not doing well. the dying flytrap, i came in today to see that it had dried up. later this week it'll probably just fall off, victim of a failed digestion. i was distressed to see one of the new flytraps exhibiting unhealthy signs as well. normally the spikes on the leaves curve inwards, but this one was curving outwards, which i think means it'll no longer eat, becoming just a regular leaf. i have to find some food for my flytraps, pronto! thing is, i haven't seen insects in a long time. maybe i need to bring the venus flytrap home, where i can properly take care of it, and having a backyard nearby would give me ample opportunities to find bugs to feed my venus flytrap with. if the plant's health doesn't improve by week's end, i'll definitely take it home.

house financing update: called my cambridgeport savings bank mortgage broker, she'd been on vacation for the last week so she didn't call me. she told me that my mortgage was approved, and i'd be receiving some confirmation paperwork in the mail sometime soon. that's some good news! my chances of getting a mortgage were never in serious jeopardy, especially after one mortgage broker told me i had perfect credit, but still, it's a relief to hear that i qualified, that the bank has deemed me financially sound enough to offer me a loan. so for a brief moment, there i was, in the office, after receiving the good news. i told no one though, just went about my work like any other day. but this is it! now all i have to do is to lock in an interest rate for the mortgage and sign for the house on the closing date, june 19th. in less than two months, i will be a home owner.

when i got home, cold rain was falling. with still some daylight left, i went outside to verify that indeed garlic mustard was growing in my backyard (yes yes, it's true!). i then made a quick tour of the perimeters to see if any new flowers had blossomed since yesterday. back when we first moved to this house, there was a lilac hedge between my neighbor's yard and our yard. since then, we got new neighbors, and these new neighbors for some reason don't see to like lilacs very much, cutting down all but a few branches. that's a shame, because i always looked forward to the smell of lilacs in the springtime.

and after a rain shower, one of my favorite things to do is to go outside and take photos of water droplets on leaves. sometimes it's the simplest things in nature that i find most fascinating. i like the looks of water droplets, like little crystal balls on a background of green.