my father had already gone to home depot by himself to pick up bags of top soil by the time i got to belmont; i'd wanted to go to get some cam connectors and possibly a piece of hardboard panel (all for repair projects back at home). while he was busy patching up more of our backyard lawn and later watering, i was by the western side of the house, pruning back the rampant raspberries and honeysuckles to inspect the fence. i discovered spots where rabbits could get into the yard and went about blocking them. my first thought was to staple some wire fencing, but the hassle of trimming the fencing (and not get hurt in the process) was just too much, so i figured instead i could get wooden planks and screw them to the bottom of the fence instead.
while searching for additional planks, i saw my father standing over a garden refuse bin holding a bluejay in hand. i thought i was imagining it at first. he was trying to free the bird, who got its feet caught in between the crack of a bamboo pole. it was a weird way to get caught, and probably the reason why it happened was because it was also a baby bluejay. it seemed amazingly calm given the circumstances. my father was able to free it, but it appeared lethargic, just plopped on the lawn, not really doing anything. my father was worried that maybe it got injured, and who knows how long it was stuck, although i did remember looking in the bin yesterday and i didn't see the bird there. i tried giving it some water until i remembered it probably gets all its liquid from the food the parent bluejays would feed it. my father tried to put it in a box for safety but when he went to go pick up the bird, it managed to flutter away a short distance. so maybe it wasn't too injured after all. but where were the parents? we decided to leave it alone, nothing we could do anyway. and if it indeed could fly, maybe it might fly up into the tree. later we heard the baby bluejay finally loudly calling its parents. an adult bluejay appeared, and soon after that the baby disappeared, so hopefully that's a good sign.
my father and i went back inside for some xuelihong noodles for lunch. my dodocool miniature speaker arrived and i demonstrated to my parents while we ate. it's small but has some weight to it so it doesn't feel like a piece of junk. there's about some rubber padding at the bottom so it doesn't slip when placed on a table. once i paired it up with my phone through bluetooth, i played some music and it was like a magic trick, we couldn't believe a speaker this small could be this loud. not bad for just $7 on amazon (i had a coupon though).
we decided to visit the waltham OSJL to return the TCL dehumidifier, but first we had to put it back in its original packaging. returning it couldn't be easier, one of the things i love about american consumerism. the clerk just took a peek inside the box to make sure there was an actual dehumidifier. she actually thanked us for packaging it up nicely even though we thought we just did a fair job; she said sometimes she gets customers returning things without the original packaging. she actually tape up the box and had one of the younger clerks take it away. with that $250 was put back on my parents' credit card.
we didn't do much shopping at OSJL: my father got a metal lawn sprinkler ($11), i grabbed a bag of bagel chips. afterwards we went to russo's for some produce. russo's isn't exactly cheap, but still probably cheaper than whole foods, and probably the most diverse produce market you'll find in the area. while my mother was paying, i reminded her of the senior discount, but the cashier said they were no longer doing that program.
back in belmont, everyone was busy doing their own thing: my mother was making some sweet dates zongzi for the duanwu festival, my father was outside testing out the new sprinkler; and i was preparing the solar-powered motion sensing LED flood lights to be painted. it's actually been more than a year since we bought these lights (i totally forgot we had two). they were supposed to be mounted to the side of the house, but we never got around to it. i think i'd wanted to painted the mounting block, which i finally did this february. then i got the bright idea of painting the lights as well, so they wouldn't stand out so much (from black to yellow).
after covering up the LED's and the motion sensor with blue tape, i gave each light two coats of yellow house paint. i specifically bought a new brush from the dollar store a few days ago for this occasion.
after that i went back to the western fence to secure the planks to the fence to block the rabbits from getting into the backyard. my father helped me, pruning back some more honeysuckle. its fragrance was so overpowering, hours later i still smelled phantom honeysuckle. how it looks like we're finally secure from rabbits.
i planted some yellow alyssum seeds in a hanging planter and some cupcake cosmo seeds in a pot. not sure if it's too late, but both flowers late in the summer season, so hopefully there's more time. and keeping them in pots prevent them from getting eaten up by slugs or rabbits (though hopefully rabbits won't be a nuisance anymore).
the last thing i did was to put more plastic rings around some new seedlings.
after dinner i casually looked out into the backyard, jokingly thinking wouldn't it be funny if i saw a rabbit after all the hard work we did rabbit proofing the backyard? but sure enough, there was a small rabbit eating white clover flowers from the lawn, along with a handful of robins and grackles pecking in the dirt, and even a mourning dove. how did that rabbit get inside? but my father said it might've been in the backyard already. minutes later i spotted a second rabbit. when that rabbit looked like it was eating one of the seedlings, i ran outside to shoo it away.
today's production was a little weird: staggered production in the morning, then nothing but steady generation the rest of the afternoon. no record set but by day's end we made 45.94 kWh.