monarch caterpillars continue to feed. one thing i've noticed is that there are also some aphids living on the milkweed leaf as well. so far they're not a problem, but aphids can breed asexually and just one can lead to a bunch in a short amount of time. i'll have to keep an eye on them.
i biked to belmont primarily to retrieve the car so i can go pick up my parents tomorrow, but did some yard work while i was there. i finally had time to use the aquaseal sealant to patch up the rip on my rain boot. i already bought a new pair, but these still wear well, provided i can seal up that rip. i also went to home depot to get some grass seeds and manure. i browsed their outdoor nursery in the parking lot, surprised they carried sourwood, but more a $40 potted bush than an actual tree. they didn't have any pink flowering cherries.
grass seed can be pretty expensive, especially these new fancy formulation that also includes water absorbing material and fertilizer. i ended up getting a 14.25 lbs. bundle of scotts patchmaster for $25. two additional 50 lbs. bags of manure set me back $5/each. i also bought 2 bottles of bonine stump remover ($7/each).
after watering the garden i did a bit of crabgrass weeding. there's a large patch of lawn near the back entrance of the house that's almost entirely crabgrass. that's because that's where hailey used to go to the bathroom, which basically killed the grass, and we never really took good care of it (my sister's responsibility since it was her dog that caused it) and crabgrass ended up taking over that region. instead of weeding, it makes more sense just to completely strip that area and start over. the battle against crabgrass is going to take a few days at the very least; thankfully next week's weather seems to be in the 70's, so just right for some yard work.
i drove the car back to my place with my bicycle in the back. after removing the bicycle, i got back into the car to get some fuel as my parents' left me a car with a nearly empty tank. i went down to the speedway on prospect street to get $20 worth of regular unleaded.
i went down to the community garden to water my plants and to look for some usable milkweed leaves on the wild patch of land between the garden and the new walkway. there are a few milkweed plants but they look awfully diseased. i managed to pull off one leaf that looked promising, but when i got back home it was all flimsy, not a good leaf for monarchs to feed on.
around evening, while cattwo was busy feeding on the upper part of the milkweed leaf, catone once again stopped eating and crawled to the center of the leaf (the topside), most likely another molt. this time it will be instar 3. monarch caterpillars go through a total of 5 instars, which each step they get progressively larger and exponentially hungrier. bruce said on the last instar (5) a caterpillar can eat 3 leaves before finally turning into a chrysalis.
i have my little patch of milkweed in my garden plot, but i only want to use it in case of emergency, since i want to let it grow bigger. i know two places in belmont that might have good sources of milkweed: rock meadow conservation area (western belmont) and claypit pond by the high school. i'll check out claypit over the weekend, there used to be a lot of milkweed growing there, but i haven't visited in nearly 2 decades so who knows if they're still there.
for dinner i grilled up the rest of my chicken thighs and made more chicken burrito wraps, this time steaming the tortilla instead of baking it. it made for a better wrap (less dry) but i've eaten so much chicken over the past 2 days i'm all chickened out, even though i still have enough leftover to make another wrap or two.