when i can't think of anything better to eat for breakfast/lunch, i fall back on oatmeal. recently i've been mixing in some goji berries along with the raisins. goji berries taste sort of like raisins, but they add a touch of color and supposedly are rich in antioxidants. as if oatmeal can be made healthier!

i went to belmont to help my father with some yard work on his day off. alex came by later in the afternoon. he wanted to borrow my canon 70-300mm telephoto lens so he can figure out if he should buy a similar lens for his 3-month long trip to china at the end of the month. in exchange, he was letting me borrow his brand new canon EF-S 10-22mm ultra wide angle lens. now i've been thinking about buying an ultra wide for the longest time, so i couldn't wait to play around with one.

once i had the 10-22mm lens on my camera, i couldn't stop shooting. ultrawide is what photojournalists use to capture the action because it grabs the most amount of image per frame. as a documentarian (AKA blogger), this is the perfect lens. i took well over 600+ photos today, shooting mostly in A-DEP mode but occasionally switching to aperture priority at f8. the lens is pretty awesome, amazingly sharp, well-designed, and much lighter than i thought (with a 77mm opening). the only bad thing is the price, $660 after rebate. alex said he bought a used tamron ultra wide but sold it right afterwards because it had soft corners. after having used this canon ultra wide, i feel like reshooting every single photo i ever shot with the DSLR just so i can make them all better. as soon as i return this lens i'll probably buy one for myself.

when i wasn't shooting, i was busy digging up dandelions while my father was bundling up all the twigs and branches for garden refuse recycling. since it rained a little bit earlier today, the ground was soft so the weeds were easier to dig out. nevertheless, i only managed to make a small dent in the dandelion population. later my father mowed the lawn, which chopped up a lot of weeds but it's only a temporary fix because they'll grow out again in a few more weeks.

in the backyard, the quince bush has shed all its red flowers and the lilac blossoms are starting to fade. the only edible things growing in the garden are random chinese chive plants and a whole carpet of sprawling mint. the golden raspberries i transplanted from my cambridge community garden are doing well this year and look to produce some berries this season. the biggest surprise today was spotting some wisteria flowers growing on the wisteria vine. that plants been around for 15+ years but we've never seen it flower. since that time, it's managed to climb some neighboring trees. i was thinking maybe it never flowered because it doesn't get enough sun, so when i looked high up on a branch that got a lot of sunshine, that's when i spotted a clutch of wisteria flowers. my father spotted a few more on another branch. unfortunately we may have to cut back the vine because it's growing a little too crazy. that will once again deprive it of sunshine, so i don't know if it'll flower again next season.

though grey and cold for much of the day, the sun started to break out by late afternoon. this would be a factor in the frost advisory issued by the weather forecast, with parts of western massachusetts under a freezing advisory. i'm sort of glad i haven't transplanted anything yet into my community garden, other than some peas and failed lettuces. i had a hot dog for lunch, then in the evening (while my sister took hailey out to bentley for a run) i had dinner with my parents, some xuelihong (pickled mustard green) noodles.

i returned home before it got too cold. wanting to play with the ultra wide angle lens some more, i decided to head to the summit of prospect hill park to see if i can get any good photos. getting to the park is a little tricky, but i kept on repeating "walnut monroe" in my head once i got to union square (up walnut street, take a right on monroe). although a good spot to see the boston skyline from somerville, the wide angle reduced the city to a small speck in the photo. however, there were some very dramatic clouds in the sky, which i took a few snapshots of. once i made it back home, i stashed my motorcycle on a private way since there's street cleaning tomorrow.

i don't have any good photos to show the difference between the ultra wide angle versus my normal lens, but maybe these will give you some idea of the coverage.