while i was locking my bike outside of haymarket, i was next to a man looking to borrow a cellphone because his was out of power. he had several people, but they all refused to help him. finally he turned to me, and said he'd give me a dollar if he could make a quick phone call to his wife in haymarket. i told him that wasn't necessary and let him use my phone. after his quick call, i asked him about his car, which was parked on the curb with the hood popped open. he whispered, "oh, the car's not really broken. i only did it so i wouldn't get a ticket for parking in front of a hydrant."
i went to haymarket to look for persimmons and pomelos. persimmons they had, both jiro (7 for $2) and hachiya ($1 each) variety. i ended up buying a bag of jiros. i didn't see any pomelos; i thought about going into chinatown to check out if they had any but decided against it. i also bought $2 worth of long korean hot peppers (red this time, end of season crop), 4 pomegranates ($5), and 4 scallions ($1).
i weaved my way through the financial district to downtown crossing, to pay another visit to the MBTA store. the line wasn't as bad as last time, and i only waited about 15 minutes total. i was there to transfer charlie tickets on charlie cards, one for drew, one for my sister. i also picked up 3 more blank charlie cards, never know when i might need some more.
so the beacon street foodmaster isn't even going to wait until the end of the month to close its doors. they were having a fire sale, with everything off 20-40%. i would've stopped to check it out (maybe pick up some more hard cider or hot sauce) but i already bag a bag of produce so i continued home instead.
all that biking made me hungry, so after a hot shower i heated up my leftover kale quinoa pilaf. later in the evening i made some corn bread muffin. i didn't really like it, not crumbly enough and they had a thick shell.
drew returned home at 5:00 and later went to market basket to get some groceries. he came back with what he thought was a bag of dove chocolates but turned out they were hershey bliss, which isn't quite the same. this, after weeks of asking if i have anymore dove chocolates. it's an easy mistake to make though, i've done it too.
the most common way to evaluate a field guide is to look up specimens. today i was perusing the wildflower section of the kaufman new england field guide.
i noticed kaufman doesn't mention the pale corydalis, which seems to be fairly common in the area, often growing from rocky outcroppings on top of hills (middlesex fells is a good place to see them). i checked with the audubon guide and sure enough they don't have it either. maybe it's a case of the kaufman using the audubon as a reference, and whatever the audubon left out, the kaufman indadvertedly did as well. i had to use the full audubon field guide to eastern widlflowers to find it (and even then the photo is pretty bad).
what the new england naturing community needs is a good field guide to wildflowers and a good one for trees. i think the sibley tree guide is probably the best reference book there is (i don't own it), but it's too bulky to be a field guide. there are also a few new england wildflowers guides out there, but they're all lacking. bad photography, b&w only diagrams - for whatever reason there currently exists a field guide vacuum for those things. maybe kaufman is working on them perhaps?
some of the kaufman wildflower photos are pretty awful. the gaywings don't really show the flowers at all (they kind of look like pink elephant heads with a fuzzy snout). the asiatic dayflower photo is also pretty weak, considering it's a common garden weed (at least here in cambridge) and the unique flower is one of the most interesting things about the plant. the kaufman doesn't have sundews, which the audubon does. granted, sundews are known more for their sticky carnivorous leaves instead of their flowers (which are tiny and white, barely noticeable), and even in the audubon the photo is pretty lousy (hard to tell what you're looking at). the kaufman does however have a much better photo of a pitcher plant, although the flower itself is in an awkward position that obscures a lot of telltale characteristics.
kaufman doesn't have the downy rattlesnake plantain, which have tiny white orchid flowers on a bed of fuzzy white-veined evergreen leaves. it's distinctive enough that i think it should belong in a field guide, but the audubon doesn't have it either.
kaufman has an entry for perfoliate bellwort - which i've never seen before. what i have seen are sessile bellworts, which has an audubon entry. the difference seems to be the perfoliate has a stem that looks like it's piercing through the leaves.
these comprehensive field guides are sometimes more about quantity than quality. take for instance clintonia and bunchberries. both guides show just the flowers, but the most distinguishing characteristic of these flowers are their berries: shiny blue in the case of clintonia, bright red for the bunchberries. if they really took the time to think about proper wildflower identification, they would've added an additional photo (instead of just a few words).