i went to the supermarket this morning to pick up some supplies for the cafe. they wanted so many things that i didn't get anything for myself because i was afraid it wouldn't all fit in my milk crate. turns out that was a wise decision because i barely managed to pack everything. i slowly rode back to my place, wobbly wheels and all.

unfortunately that wasn't the only thing i had to carry. i had a big package to ship to my norwegian friend frances and i needed to bring that as well. the box wouldn't fit a backpack, so i ended up having to strap it to the milk crate with some bungie cords. it's probably the most things i've ever carried on the back of my bicycle.

on my way to the cafe i passed by that ginormous tree on rc kelley street. the leaves have started to come out but it's still too early to figure out the species, partly because it's so tall i can't even make out the leaves. it's not an elm tree, nor is it a silver maple (2 possible candidates), i know that much at least.

after dropping off my things in belmont, i was out the door again, this time to the town post office to mail off that package. it took a while, not because there was a long line, but mainly due to the lengthy customs form i had to fill out. it was a pleasant spring day anyway, i didn't mind the extra excursion. it also gave me a chance to go by the wellington elementary school, where i spent my 2nd through 4th grade. the building has been completely demolished to make way for a new school. i think the same thing is happening to the high school but i'm not sure because i didn't go by there.

thunderstorms were scheduled for later in the day, so i was in a hurry to finally finish clearing out the lawn of dandelions. there was a second more important reason though: some of the flowers were already on their way to becoming seeds.

while weeding the front lawn, i chatted with the father of the new chinese family living across the street. i saw him kneeling on his lawn yesterday and knew he was weeding as well. unlike our lawn, which has zero dandelions (thanks to my handiwork), his lawn is peppered with bright yellow flowers. he asked if it'd be easier just to spray herbicide. i told him we don't do it because we have a dog. i suggested his best option would be to mow his lawn before all the dandelions start to seed. it wouldn't get rid of the dandelions, but at least it'd buy him some time. i'm actually very disappointed with all the new neighbors that have moved in within the past year or so. i can tell they're new to the suburb because they know nothing about lawn care. i don't mind if they don't mow, but when their lawn is covered with dandelions, it affects me because all those seeds will drift onto my lawn.

my parents have bamboos growing in the backyard that serve as a screen between us and the backyard neighbors. i always thought bamboos were too delicate to grow in new england, but apparently some varieties are quite hardy and do rather well. in fact, they seem to be doing too well, and the backyard bamboos have started to spread. new shoots have sprouted about 6-7 feet from where the bamboos were originally planted. if this is happening on our lawn, it must also be happening to our neighbors. i've been warning my father for years but apparently he doesn't think it's a problem. today i found some evidence that shows maybe he should reconsider. i discovered some new bamboo shoots. instead of the tender stalks, these were as hard as nails, like 1" spikes poking out from the grass. it's a potential liability issue of anyone should accidently step on one while walking barefoot on the lawn.

also in the backyard are wild violets. they can be sort of weedy, but unlike dandelions which i have no love for, violets get a pass. many years ago we began to notice a few mutated white violets compared to the usual purple ones. nowadays most of the backyard violets are of the white variety. that's piqued my interest in introducing a few other varieties. they seem to do very well, and the ones i'm thinking of are perennials so they'll come back every year and hopefully multiply.

i found a large white grub while digging in the front lawn. fighting back the urge to send it to larvae heaven, i took the time to examine its raster to figure out what kind it was. it was a european chafer, those common reddish brown beetles you find attracted to the screen doors on summer nights. the grub has a y-shaped anal slit and matching y-shaped spines and are normally a little bigger than most other white grubs.

by late afternoon the sky darkened and i heard some thundering. what followed were some very brief showers followed by the return of the sun. my sister was already home by then, so i returned home since it was no longer raining.