i was in dorchester-roxbury this afternoon for the puerto rican parade. while the new york puerto rican parades are the stuff of legends, i didn't realize that boston had it's own annual parade. i left the house at 11:00, arriving 30 minutes later near egleston square, leaving the motorcycle in a residential parking spot on armory street (hoping that the police wouldn't ticket on a sunday). i asked a traffic cop where the parade route was and he wasn't quite sure himself, just told me to follow the trail of puerto ricans waving their flags. i went up atherton street, to the intersection of columbus and washington.

a man dressed in a matching floral shirt and shorts ensemble sitting on a collapsible lawn chair asked me if i knew when the parade started. not sure if anybody really knew, these sort of thing don't usually start on time anyway. a few places i saw online said 12:00, while others said 1:00. i ended up sitting down and chatting with maurice, in front of santana's autobody. across the street was a walgreens pharmacy and where most everybody were standing due to some shady trees. maurice and i sat out in the sun. "are you hot?" i asked him. "i'm cooking over here!" he said, "but i love it!" he also asked how long i've been working for RNN, but i told him i was there just for kicks.

maurice seemed to be friends with a lot of people. two young guys greeted him with a friendly embrace. afterwards maurice told me they were up-and-coming musicians struggling to make it in the business. later when a motorcycle cop stopped in front of us, maurice knew him too. "i saw your cousin the other day," he said, "she's doing better."

i've gone to a lot of parades, so i pretty much know the lineup without even seeing it. you have your local politicans, shaking hands and earning votes. you've got your corporate sponsors, which are usually the prettier more elaborate floats. you've got your marching bands, which very existence seem to be tailor-made for parades. you got your vehicles, whether suped up custom cars, or crowded convertibles. for me, parades are about the people watching. sometimes the spectators are more interesting than the people actually marching in the parade. these ethnic festivities are also great in that they help me in recognizing the different flags of the world. if i didn't know what a puerto rican flag looked like, i definitely know it now.

after returning home, i packed up a few things and went to belmont. hailey was home alone with the air conditioner on. i let her out into the backyard. after i took a few garden photos, i watered the plants.

female flowers have started to show up on one of the mystery squash plants. female flowers are accompanied by a small fruit (ovary) which can provide a clue as to what the future squash will look like. so far it's nothing i can identify: textured like a zucchini but shaped like a butternut.

elsewhere, a few of the small calabash gourds have wilted. this happens to unfertilized female flowers. as much as i'd like to depend on nocturnal moths to do the work, we might have to hand-pollinate to guarantee a few viable gourds. although the plant is growing so fast, a few lost gourds won't make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things.