a strange thing happened this morning: i actually tuned in to the world cup even though i had no reason to. it was england versus germany. when i caught the game england was down, which made me root for the underdog. i stopped watching when germany went up 3-1. knowing how difficult it is to score even just a single goal, i didn't think england would be able to win the match.

the neverending construction near my house has transformed prentiss street into a dusty crushed-gravel-covered road. it actually makes me nostalgic for some of the bad roads i've encountered in my foreign travels. i stopped riding my motorcycle down prentiss just to prevent small rocks from pinging the underside of my bike. i have no qualms about a bicycle though, even though i have to ride carefully so i wouldn't slip.

the harvard-smithsonian center for astrophysics (CFA) is apparently a hotbed of interesting wildlife. set on a hilltop, the campus is slightly wooded and geographically isolated enough that it doesn't get too much human foot traffic, other than the people who work there. it was around this area that i spotted the flicker back in february. then last month i saw all those rabbits in the parking lot one night on my way home. and today i observed a black squirrel. i've known about them for a while, even caught sight of them before from huron avenue down to mason street. it makes sense from a camouflage perspective that black squirrels would do better. so used to seeing grey squirrels, i almost didn't recognize what i saw, and at first thought it was a black starling pecking around the grass.

only my mother was home in belmont, spending her day off watching television and cleaning the house. hailey slept for much of the day, going outside into the backyard a few times to use the bathroom before running back into the house.

we have two cherry tomato plants. the one growing in the long garden plot seemed to be doing well when we originally planted it - producing a few tomatoes and many flowers - but soon all the flowers fell off and the few tomatoes took forever to ripen. the cherry tomato growing on the western side (by the faucet) is doing much better, with several strands of green tomatoes. it does seem a bit spindly, probably due to a trio of sunflowers blocking the sun. this part of the garden seems healthier because last year we added a lot of compost as mulch. in the long garden plot we never added any nutrients the past few years, and the way the water runoffs from the gutter has a tendency to flush that part of the garden whenever there's a heavy rainstorm.

so far there are 2 nasturtium flowers. they start out red but gradually get more orange as they mature. nasturtium flowers have a faint fragrance.

elsewhere, the magenta alliums get more colorful each day; the aloes have started greening ever since i put them back in the shady eastern side of the house; i caught a pair of giant resin bees mating; and a 12-spotted skimmer visited the backyard (who said you have to leave home to see wildlife?).

for lunch i had some beef broth rice porridge. i snipped a few bundles of romaine lettuce to add to the soup. the stems were a little bitter, not sure what that means. too old? my mother also picked off most of the sugar snap peas. i think that's it for the pea crop, i haven't noticed too many new flowers these days. she also picked some ripe golden raspberries.

i like how the temperature at nights seems perfect for bicycling, but i don't like the fact that the only things making me visible to oncoming traffic are my reflectors and my handful of lights. at least i have lights: i occasionally see riders who ride in stealth mode. it's cool if you're a ninja, but cars can't see a completely unlit cyclist. i don't care about helmets, but it's crazy dangerous to ride at nights without proper lighting.