this morning i went down to norwood to pick up some coding work. it takes me exactly 50 minutes to ride down there and another 50 minutes to come back. i returned to cambridge a bit before noon then reheated some leftover yiouyuegen (squid nugget soup) for lunch.

in the afternoon julie and i met up to go down to walden pond to cool off on this new hottest day of the year. we were afraid the parking lot would be closed but found it to be still opened, although so crowded it almost seemed impossible to find a parking spot. the ocean along coastal beaches are just too cold to swim in, so a place like walden pond is probably one of the few outdoor places where the water is warm enough to take a dip. we walked around to the other side of the pond before we found an open clearing of rocks to throw down our stuff and get into the water. i was hoping to see some snakes like last night (especially the ring neck snake) but no such luck. instead, chipmunks scampered around noisily in the undergrowth feeding on mushrooms, mating damselflies alighted themselves on rocks and branches, and in the pond hungry fish waited patiently for us to flick tasty ants into the water. the place we sat at was framed by fragrant pepperbush, the same smell (reminded me of irises) i encountered while riding along a stretch of wooded road in norwood earlier this morning. the weather report said there'd be isolated incidents of thunderstorm, and soon after we arrived, the hot weather turned cool, as the sky became overcasted and we heard the sound of thunder in the distance. a park ranger on a boat came by to warn everyone to get out of the water, for fear of lightning strikes. julie and i sat on the rocks, waiting for the light show to begin; the thunderstorm never did come, and at best we saw a few thunderbolts zigzag out of the sky on the other side of the pond. when the ranger came around once more to warn everyone about not being in the water, we figured that was enough of walden pond for the day and decided to leave. the parking lot by then was already pretty empty.

next we went to bedford farm ice cream for some authentic homemade new england dessert. julie had some sort of mint chocolate chip while i had a coffee ice cream mixed with fudge swirls and oreo cookies. although the parking lot was ample, there isn't a lot of places to sit down, but we found an empty wooden bench nonetheless. to hear julie talk about the proper methodology of ice cream eating (e.g. "lick it around, bottom to top") is an exercise in keeping a straight face while hearing comments that can be easily misconstrued for frank conversation of a more sexual nature. i'm not too good with the licking, i'm more of a biter, and i always end up with sticky hands. i finally had to rinse my hands in a warm puddle of rain water (wild style!) and dried them with a paper napkin.

on the road back to cambridge-somerville we went through towns that had encountered some rain activity (from the looks of the wet streets) even though we remained dry. we paid a visit to julie's garden, recently watered by a passing shower. for once the place was quiet, no children making noises in the playground, everyone safe inside their homes to escape the rain. the main attraction was the cosmos, flourishing even more than the last time i visited.

after a brief stop at julie's place (where i saw her turtle, which decided to grow large this season, to 6" in length, almost too big to turn around in the glass fishtank) we came back to my place to watch the red sox game against the minnesota twins. with the red sox losing badly, we weren't paying much attention, more interested in looking though my collection of gardening books. we had a late dinner of spicy chinese dumplings. the couch claimed another victim as i noticed julie drifting off to sleep. later she went back home, leaving me to watch another installment of battlestar galactica. adama wakes up from his coma!