my mother called at 10:30, asking me if i wanted to go with my sister and her to winchester fells to walk the dog. i didn't think this was a good idea because we were about to be hit with some major rainstorms, but at least i could get a ride from my sister on her way to belmont. the main reason why my mother wanted me to go was to see the white ladyslipper they discovered when they were there yesterday.

without even stopping for breakfast, once we arrived in belmont we set out to winchester, in hopes of beating the rain. i'd checked the doppler radar and it looked like the main storm wouldn't arrive until 2:00. i sat in the back, squeezed next to hailey and the child seat. with wet weather coming we didn't think there'd be too many people but when we arrived there was already about a dozen SUV parked outside.

this was my first nature outing since returning from the smoky mountains. visiting that national park has really spoiled me. how back in a typical new england forest, i noticed the lack of trees, how you can easily look through the branches and see the horizon. of the trees that were there, they were all relatively young, no real big trees (old growth). it was also very buggy. this may have to do more with terrain differences, but there was virtually no mosquitoes in the smokies, while mosquitoes were everywhere in the fells, annoyingly buzzing around my head, biting me through my shirt (normally i wear a protective windbreaker when i'm naturing, but i forgot to bring one).

after a short walk we came across the white ladyslipper. we were afraid somebody might've picked it because along the path we saw a few discarded pink ladyslippers somebody had picked earlier, and the white ladyslipper was right next to the trail. i crouched down to take photos, which caught the attention of a man walking his big black poodle. after we explained what i was photographing, he took out his iphone so he could get a photo too. the whole time i was worried that his dog might trample the flower. after they left, i took a few more photos. throughout the fells we kept seeing ladyslippers, but they were all the pink variety. there didn't seem to be as many as in past seasons, maybe due to the unusually dry weather we've had this may.

the sky was grey but comfortably cool, and we'd experience brief intermittent periods of light showers. neither my sister nor mother brought umbrellas, but i had two with me and gave one to my mother. one of them was the clear collapsible umbrella i bought in china. i've always wanted a clear umbrella because it'd still allow the light to filter through when i'm taking rainy macros, but the clear plastic material is not very good, probably only a step above plastic wrapping paper, and i'm pretty sure it won't last very long. i think it's hard to create a durable clear umbrella because what you really need is a transparent fabric material, and i don't think one exists.

we were out by 1:30. driving home, the rain began to pick up a bit. as is their tradition, my mother and sister stopped by a dunkin' donut along the way to grab a bagel sandwich and some coffee. my mother got me a box of munchkins. hailey and i waited in the car, hailey peering out the car window from the rear cargo hold into the dunkin donut store.

by midafternoon, the sky darkened considerably, the temperature dropped even more, and suddenly it started raining, a good soaking of several inches. normally rain would be depressing, but this was much needed precipitation. rain also meant i wouldn't need to go water the gardens for the next few days. i went out and snapped some photos; plants look so dramatic in the rain.

i was tired enough in the late afternoon to take a nap in my parents' bedroom. we were having barbecued ribs tonight, with 2 slabs cooking in the oven. i woke up when i heard the incessant beepings as my father tried to figure out how to work the automated timer. normally i love ribs, but because of all the munchkins i ate earlier, i didn't have much of an appetite and could only down 5 ribs. we never even touched the second slab, even though we cooked it.

i played a bootleg copy of mad max: fury road for my mother; i didn't know how she'd like it (especially given the quality of the print, which was a bit dark), but she was totally engrossed in the story. my father gave me a ride back to cambridge. i went across to the street to buy some more cherries and a pint of coconut pineapple häagen-dazs ice cream (for my mother) before returning home to catch the latest episode of game of thrones.

SPOILERS! tyrion and daenerys finally sit down to have a chat! their meeting hasn't even happened in the book yet, so it's completely uncharted territory. now if they can only find a way for jon snow to join their ranks... i didn't particularly like the battle of hardhome. suddenly GoT became a zombie show, and not just slow shuffling zombies, but rather berzerking tweeked zombies which seems to be all the rage these days. at least nobody gets infected from zombie bites, but you do get resurrected as a new member of the zombie army. that scene where another battalion of zombies drop off the cliff, only to get right back up? reminded me so much of the mindless army horde of world war Z.