i promise: it's not going to be like this all the time, where i go into excruciating details about the hour by hour grow progress of my new plants. hopefully the photos can explain most of it, while i add a few additional comments. the cypress vines are opening up and the initial seedling leaves are getting greener, which means chlorophyll are being produced into order to drive photosynthesis. in all the containers but group D there is at least one healthy-looking cypress vine seedling. group D was the late starter and although there are two seedlings, they look rather shriveled. the second seedling in group A seems to be stunted. the seedling growing on the side of the container in group C, because it never fully broke out of its shell, appears to be dying. and in group B, the second seedling that i helped out of its shell looks damaged enough that it may might live either. this is all for the best: in order to have the best possible growing conditions, there should only be one plant per container. containers with more than one i may have to thin them out, which is something i've never been very good at.

the most interesting plant are the nasturtiums. their seedlings remind me of a diamond ring, where the leaves resemble the gem while the stems look like the prongs of the ring. they don't seem to have any problems coming out of their seed cases. the basil are also doing well, but their growth isn't as dramatic. they do appear much greener compared to the other seedlings, like right out of the ground they're already ready to start photosynthesizing.

i went to the cafe to get some lunch before taking a trip with my father to the watertown home depot. i wanted to get some more seeds; not necessarily for growing right now, but possibly saving for a few months so i can start them right before spring and transplant them outside into my community garden. i also got a bag of all-purpose gravel (found in the concrete equipment aisle, 50 lbs. $2.50) and a new filter for my forced air heater.

coming back to cambridge, we went by the walden street bridge. walden street used to be a major thoroughfare between concord avenue and mass ave, before the bridge was closed for construction. nobody believed it when they said it'd take 2 years to build that bridge, but now more than a year has passed and the bridge still doesn't look anywhere near complete. and with the ground completely frozen during the winter, all work is on a hiatus until the spring thaw.

new set of photos taken at 4pm:

i put down a layer of gravel on the trays and added some water. this is to increase the humidity for the growing plants so they won't get too dry. the soil is still pretty moist and i haven't had to water yet.

i did a water on all 3 aquariums a week ago. the guppy tanks seem to be doing fine, but in just 7 days the minibow tetra/barb tank experienced an algae bloom. i scrubbed off the algae from the glass first before performing a water change (2 gallons). i also carefully cleaned the java ferns, rubbing the black algae off the leaves between my fingers. the final touch was rearranging the large piece of driftwood. i gave it a better angle, providing a larger open space for the tetras to swim in.

i had the leftover noodles from this afternoon for dinner while watching the democratic debate. tonight it got pretty intense, particularly between clinton and obama, as they jostled for position, trying to gain an advantage over the other candidate in what appears to be a dead heat.

later in the evening i took one last peek at the plants. the cypress vines were greener, and the nasturtiums looked like they were about to unfurl their leaves.