knowing that it'd be a rainy day today with nothing planned in terms of activities, i allowed myself to sleep. when i checked the time i was surprised by how late it was: 10:30am. my mother called me soon afterwards, wanted me to meet her at michael's so we could both use a 50%-off-one-item coupon to buy a pair of square-bottom glass vases for my sister's flower arrangement job due tomorrow. the fact that my sister had since last weekend to get her supplies but didn't wasn't sitting too well with me but i did what my mother asked.
there was a little drizzle, but i decided to bike down to porter square just because it was quicker. i'd told my mother about the parking situation - they're surfacing half of the lot - but when i arrived i saw it was going to be pretty awful, the level of congestion. i saw my mother pull into the parking lot and i knew she wasn't going to find a space. i intersected her as she drove by and got into the car to help navigate. we followed a woman going into her car but she was taking a long time to leave. minutes later she came out and told us she was just taking a break and she wasn't going anywhere.
that was the last straw as we decided to go back to my house to grab my visitor's permit, which would allow us to park on the street but within walking distance. turning right on elm street, i remembered there was another smaller parking lot next door. i told my mother to turn into that lot and surprised to find many parking spots. only after we got out did i realize this was the employee lot, but hopefully we wouldn't get ticketed or towed, especially given the fact that the normal lot was undergoing maintenance work.
besides the vases, my mother also stocked up on yarn with her 25%-off-everything-coupon (veteran's day special1 ), some more patons classic wool as well as an entire set of isaac mizrahi craft university yarn (original price $6.99, on sale $4.99, plus an additional 25% off; 40% acrylic, 31% superwash wool, $29% polyamide). afterwards i got my bike and followed my mother back to the employee parking lot before i returned home via mossland.
ana was still asleep by the time i returned home around 11:30am. the rain seemed to be letting up, or at least there was a window before another batch would arrive later in the afternoon. i decided to ride out to my parents' place. by then it was 1pm and my roommate was still asleep. i set up the action camera so it could record a rainy day biking timelapse. when i got ready to ride though, the rain began to pick up. i decided to rough it out, hoping that maybe it was just a brief shower and would clear up soon.
riding in the rain in late fall is no fun. the bike lanes are covered in slippery leaves, hiding potential potholes or dangerous debris like large twigs. whenever i could, i would ride in the streets to avoid the bike lanes. my upper body was semi-waterproof, but my lower body wasn't, as i watched my pants get progressively soaked and could feel my shoes getting wet.
when i arrived in belmont i changed into my painting pants which were still at the house. my underwear was soaked as well and i ended up wearing a pair of my father's. the rest of my body was dry though.
i checked the new awning when i arrived in belmont. i knew it was slightly sloped, and wanted to see where the water would drain under rainy conditions. as expected, with the awning leaning slightly to the left, the water dripped off the left front corner off of the awning rain gutter. but the unexpected thing was rain was also pooling by the left end of the awning, against the wooden brace. in the grand scheme of things it won't have too much impact on the awning functionality, but if we can fix it, we should try.
i reviewed the timelapse movie i shot of my ride from cambridge to belmont. the thing i noticed right away was the rain drops on the lens making it hard to see. i think i can probably spray the case with some sort of water repellent to keep off the water.
i also had a chance to take a photographic tour of the backyard. looking at our kale plants, i saw a big fat green cabbageworm, which i picked off and threw away in the middle of the lawn. upon further inspection i found even more, and ended up picking about 7-8 worms in total. handpicking is okay, but these worms have great camouflage and sometimes they're hard to see. the only effective treatment is to dust with BT. i thought cold weather would kill them off, but they seem to be pretty hardy. also the kale grow under a row cover, so that provided some additional insulation.
i'm still pretty amazed by the foxglove plants; they do well in the shade, resistant to insects, and seemingly impervious to frost. when the weather clears up i'll need to divide up the plants and transplant them to better locations away from the raised beds. the leaves appear big and soft, but there's a leathery toughness to them which would explain their hardiness. they are also poisonous throughout (only if you eat them) so maybe that's why bugs don't bother them.
green manure seems to be doing well, as expected. we haven't had a killing frost in the boston area since mid-october, and these green manure seedlings came up afterwards. i'm curious to see how they'd survive another killing frost, but i think they're hardy enough live through it. at least the winter ryegrass will survive.
there are still some snapdragons flowering, and a nasturtium flower here and there. snapdragons are semi-hardy, and some of the tougher ones can survive the winter. nasturtiums aren't so fortunate, and the next killing frost will definitely kill them off.
raised bed 3 (RB3) needs to be repaired: ravaged by termites (now eradicated), the corner posts have been eaten away and one of the sides has fallen off. we need to get a few l-brackets and nail everything back into place.
my parents made some more pepper beef buns which they brought home for dinner. i went home afterwards. the sleeves of my jackets were still wet, and so was the neck area of my hooded sweatshirt. if riding on wet leaves in the rain was dangerous, then riding on them at night is even more slow. i wasn't in any hurry so i took it slow for the sake of safety. one thing i was happy about was the fact that none of my bike lights short-circuited in the rain. i was worried with all the water that something would fry, but at least they're water resistant if not entirely waterproof.
this post uses a myriad of different media and techniques: iphone photos, dSLR photos with and without flash, panorama (harris street construction), photo stacking (cabbageworm and snapdragon photos), animated gifs, and timelapse video. a total multimedia package!
1 i just realized that american veteran's day coincides with mainland-chinese singles day - so called because the shape of the numbers (11-11) resemble single sticks (or something like that, it's all a marketing plot anyway). singles day is perhaps the biggest shopping day in the world thanks to china's billion-plus population and a fast growing middle-class. there's been attempts by chinese entrepreneurs to expand that market to the US as well, but it would never work because in the US the day is reserved for veteran's day, and the idea of turning this day into a black friday like event would probably rub a lot of americans the wrong way (likewise, the day is known as remembrance day in england and armistice day in france).