this morning i rode the motorcycle directly from my house to my parents' place for the first time this season. so used to bicycling, i had to catch myself from accidentally taking the bicycle route, which takes the occasional shortcut wrong way down one-way streets, something i can get away with on a bicycle but a definite no-no on a motorcycle.
after some ikea pancakes for breakfast, my father and i went outside for a day of yardwork. the first thing i needed to do was to weed some dandelions on the lawn. our next door neighbor hires a professional lawn maintenance service so their grass is always green and perfect. ours is a little less so, a few dead patches, some dry spots, but we don't use any chemicals on our lawn, and weeds are taken care of manually. over the years i've done a pretty good job weeding so we only get a few dandelions, unlike our other next door neighbors, whose lawn is a wrecked lump battlefield of dirty and dried grass littered with dandelions. their best course of action is to reseed the whole lawn, there's no way to salvage what they have.
while weeding out a large patch of celandine growing by the southern end of the backyard next to the bamboo grove, i pulled up a clump of dead bamboo roots. my mind couldn't process what was happening next, as 7-8 rodents suddenly came out, running everywhere. i of course freaked out. it was a blur, at first i thought they were mice, but they seemed too big, so i immediately thought they were rats instead. only a few seconds later, after the initial shock, did i look to see what they were and discovered they were baby rabbits. i must've accidentally uncovered a rabbit's nest.
the nest itself wasn't anything special, just a hollow in the ground layered with some rabbit fur. as for the bunnies, they scurried away, but didn't go too far, more about finding a place to hide. they weren't very fast and i tried to catch one (they were small enough to fit in one hand, about the size of a gerbil not counting the tail) but despite their lack of speed they were still elusive, so i left them alone. while digging the rest of the celandine i'd continue to find baby rabbits. i have mixed feelings. bunnies are cute, but i hate rabbits for what they've been doing to our backyard garden over the years. i felt bad destroying their nest, and worried about the baby rabbits, yet at the same time should they all mature to adult, that means even more rabbits. there's a lot of debris in our backyard so it wasn't surprising that rabbits would want to live there. hopefully after our cleanup they'll find it less hospitable and go elsewhere.
there are a lot of creeping bellflowers that have sprouted. at some point i need to pull them all out, though it's going to take a long time, and possibly several years to completely get rid of this invasive weed. if i can't dig them out at the very least i can pull up the leaves, stopping them from feeding their underground tubers.
we restacked our wood pile, now elevated on cinder blocks so they're not just resting on the ground. we also dug out some bamboo rhizomes, and made a trench around the bamboo patch to keep an eye out for escaping shoots. we stopped working by around 4pm, my mother calling us back inside where she heated up some buffalo wings.
i found a dead mouse in the electronic mousetrap when i was looking through the kitchen counter cabinets searching for maple syrup. the flash of green led alerting me to something in the trap startled me. this was my fear, but we haven't had a mouse since march so i assumed they went elsewhere. it'd been dead for a while, not long enough to rot, but still long enough for its paws and tail to look desiccated. this was also a smaller mouse compared to some of the fat ones i caught late winter.
3 out of 5 days so far this month of may we've produced more than 40kWh+ including today (45.83 kWh). in just 5 days we've produced nearly 200 kWh of energy (192.53kWh to be exact).
in the early evening i saw something interesting in the backyard. at first i spotted a large rabbit, which turned out to be two rabbits. i was getting ready to scare them off when i noticed additional movements nearby. the baby rabbits were back! one of the adult rabbits must've been the mother, returning to feed the babies. apparently the bunnies have some kind of homing mechanism, but unfortunately their nest was gone now. had i known what i know now, i would've just left everything alone. sure, rabbits are a nuisance, but they also have hard lives and the average life expectancy is just 18-months for a wild rabbit. it was sad, but maybe they can relocate elsewhere, or make a temporary nest. it wasn't our intention to create rabbit refugees.
after dinner i motorcycled home, an empty parking spot waiting for me right in front of the house. my place felt warm and stuffy, courtesy of the grow closet and 4 banks of fluorescent lights minus any proper ventilation. my father gave me a small usb-powered mini fan and i quickly set it up. i've been using smaller usb fans but they've all stopped working, none of them designed to be turned on 12 hours a day. this particular fan however is more rugged, properly designed to run for a long time. fans are necessary in grow closets not only to circulate the air so it doesn't get too hot, but also to stimulate the seedlings so they'll grow stronger stems.
i finally redistributed my seedlings. it's kind of like thinning except i don't throw away the seedlings but instead plant them in other pots, expanding my seedling numbers. i did this with the thai basil and hungarian wax hot peppers. i also redistributed the shasta daisies and the red chrysanthemums.