this morning catone was performing what's known in the monarch raising community as the j-hook, where it hangs upside down from the lid and transform into a chrysalis. cattwo emerged into instar 5 yesterday so today was its 2nd day of feeding after not having ate too much yesterday. since catone wouldn't be eating anymore, i took its unfinished milkweed leaves and gave it to cattwo. i hope it's okay giving leftovers, i wonder if diseases might be spread this way, but catone seemed healthy enough.

i noticed li was getting dressed this morning. could he be going to work on labor day? sure enough, that's where he was going. he said it was a better place to work, and he needed to write a paper. he left by 10am, leaving me with the house all to myself a day early. i used the bathroom then took a shower, heating up a brick of lasagna in the early afternoon for lunch, after trying to figure out what was wrong with li's HTC desire 816 phone.

i left it downloading the OTA update to android 6.0 last night; it downloaded correctly, but it wouldn't install the update. i figured it was because i changed the stock recovery to CWM recovery. fortunately i had what appeared to be a stock recovery image and flashed it back. but that didn't work. then i went in search of a different stock recovery.img, but when i flashed that the recovery mysterious reverted back to CWM. i then tried to copy the OTA zip file to my computer, but it was in a root cache directory, and there wasn't enough space (phone only had 8GB, and only 600MB available) to move the nearly 1GB update onto a public portion of the phone. i finally solved it by inserting a microSD card. i then tried to extract the recovery.img portion from the zip file but it told me that particular file was corrupted. i downloaded another older OTA update zip hoping to extract the recovery.img from there but once downloaded, i couldn't open the zip file at all. i finally gave up. i could've just installed a ROM (since the bootloader was unlocked and the phone was rooted) but i didn't want to erase any china mobile specific files so i left it as is. the lesson to be learned here: i should've just let it step upgrade to android 6.0 before overwriting the stock recovery with CWM. had i done that, this phone would now have android 6.0. i still think there's a chance i can upgrade directly to an android 6.0 ROM, but i didn't want to risk further damage. google apps work at least, and li already has a new moto G4 phone, so this HTC is just his backup.

paula stopped by to finally pick up the things karen left behind for her. they moved to a new apartment on the cambridge-watertown line, just across the street from the shangri-la restaurant. the apartment has 2 bedrooms but they're renting out the 2nd bedroom to make some extra cash. paula also got a new job, so things are looking well for her. i also went outside and met her dog gilligan who was in the car. a labrador mix, gilligan had the most interesting short hair color, almost like a cat, but very soft.

li came home around 2:30pm, right when i was about to leave. he came home to eat lunch, then go back to the office a bit later.

i rode the fuji bike to belmont, thinking it was going to rain tomorrow and i didn't want to bother moving my motorcycle. it was actually very warm today, a dry and sunny 80's degrees day, total opposite of yesterday's dreary and wet sunday. when i arrived, i was busy on the front lawn digging out patches of crabgrass, repairing them with the scotts patchmaster lawn repair mix. there wasn't too much on the front lawn, it's the back lawn that needs work, especially the large area where hailey used to use as her outdoor bathroom, and all the dead lawn became fertile ground for unchecked crabgrass. it may just be easier to reseed that whole area.

nobody watered the repair patches of lawn in the backyard from last tuesday so they've all dried up (though it did rain yesterday). i hope this doesn't mean that the grass seeds are dead now from neglect. they seemed to rehydrate well after i watered them, but according to schedule they should be sprouting by tomorrow (a week later) but i think that will be delayed. fortunately it looks to be a rainy wednesday and thursday (though i will probably have to come back tomorrow afternoon just to water a bit). throughout the backyard there's a fragrance courtesy of the blooming garlic chive flowers which attract a legion of bees. while watering the garden i also ate a handful of golden raspberries, now in its second harvest. the goldenrods have yet to flower, they are an autumn blooming specialty for sure. the compost heap has really shrunken since i last saw it. it has to be a good sign but it's really amazing how much it reduced down.

after dinner i biked back to cambridge. though it was still light out, i had my front and back lights on, as the sky was getting kind of dusky. li was home finishing dinner in the living room, watching an educational video on his laptop. he finally paid his rent (although i was in no hurry, but he kept bringing it up, and finally got to an ATM today), in crisp $100 bills from the only bank of america machine that can dispense benjamins.

got a better look at the hanging catone. through the skin i can see a little bit of the green chrysalis underneath. the little air holes on the sides of the skin can clearly be seen. the bottom of the lid is also sprayed with a thin film of silk. i brought catone into the kitchen and photographed it using 2 remotely triggered flshes, one 45° from the front, the other similarly angled to provide some backlighting.

and then around 1am:

ii noticed it because i saw something dark at the bottom of the empty glass jar. at first i thought maybe the catone had fallen off from the lid. but when i got closer i realized what it was: the final skin molt. i looked up and saw the green chrysalis. it was still in the early stages, so it didn't have its characteristic shape yet, and was still wiggling and transforming right before my eyes. it was glistening and looked wet, and had i touched it i'm guessing it'd be soft too. strange to see that it also shrunk it size, from a caterpillar that was twice as long to now a chrysalis that was less than half that size. i set it up on the coffee table with a couple of flashes so i could take some photos. by 2am it had already turned into its final chrysalis shape.