my father asked me to come down to the cafe and hook up the AC wires to the thermostat, as well as pick up a package of bean sprouts. i woke up at 9am and left for market basket about 9:30am, finally getting to the cafe by 10am. i was going to hook up the wires to the old honeywell mercury-switch thermostat, but decided to hook up the nest thermostat instead, but just wiring the AC components, none of the heating wires. it worked but it took a while for the nest to charge up its battery and activate its wifi. by the time i left it could already see the network, and by the time i got home around 11:15am i could control the thermostat with the app.
originally i planned on going straight to the arnold arboretum, but decided to go home first because i needed to use the bathroom, and thought it'd be wise to eat something before riding an hour (actually 44 minutes) down to jamaica plain and an hour back, not even factoring in how long i'll spend at the arboretum. i ended up making a simple butter and jam english muffin sandwich, bringing with me a bottle of frozen water in case i got thirsty.
i finally left by 12pm. it took me a while to figure out what to wear. even though today was a nice day, temperature was only in the upper 50's. i needed a jacket, but knew i would get sweaty from all that biking. in the end i wore a long-sleeved shirt underneath a hooded sweatshirt, figured i could take things off and put them in my travel bag if i did get hot. having biked this same route to the arboretum last month made it easier this time around. the only change i made was instead of riding down pond avenue and crossing olmsted park, after crossing route 9 in brookline, i went to the eastern edge of the emerald necklace instead, riding down along the jamaicaway. arriving in jamaica plain, i took eliot-south-custard to get to the arboretum.
with the nicer weather, there were a lot more people in the arboretum despite it being a weekday. i parked the bike by a bench to take off my jackets as i was sweaty from all that biking. going into my bag to get my camera, i noticed the screen on my oneplus one phone was cracked. i knew it was only the glass protector, but still, i just recently replaced, disappointed it broke so soon.
i never noticed it before, but there currently seems to be a lull in the springtime blossoming schedule. now that the flowering cherries have put on their show and lost most of their petals, it's time for the white flowering pears. once the pears are finished, it will be time for the crabapples. these observations hold true at the arboretum. there were still some cherries in bloom, but i seemed to have missed the peak flowering cherry period. the one variety of cherries that are currently peaking are the weeping cherries, Prunus subhirtella. there were also some peak yoshino 'akebono' and a mt.fuji cherry that was especially beautiful with white flowers that resembled roses. up on bussey's hill i saw some flowering azaleas, but these were more the exception than the norm. i saw crabapples but none of them had blossomed, though some buds were swelling and some will be on display by next week.
also on bussey's hill i saw a massive tree with white flowers. the tag said it was a Pyrus pyrifolia sand pear. after i returned home i did some more digging. the tag revealed the tree to have been planted in 1908, more than a century ago. it was actually one of the many plants EH wilson brought back with him from his china expedition. sand pear is another name for the asian pear, though this particular tree seems like an wild cousin as the fruits it bears isn't really edible. from a 2010 arboretum article about this particular tree, it said the tree has a height of 55 ft. the article also said the tree was started from seed in 1908, germinated in 1909, and before 1918 three saplings were finally planted.
i made my way to peters hill, the less popular property of the arboretum. i just wanted to take a peek at the crabapples, but i already knew they wouldn't be in bloom since i haven't seen any flowering yet. none of the crabapples had flowers, but a few looked like they were about to blossom any day now. there was on very large yoshino cherry specimen, planted in 1983 according to the record. it was shedding petals in the strong winds, like pink confetti. i'm sure the next time i come back there won't be any flowers on this tree.
i stopped at the corner of essex and ivy street to admire a rare early blooming crabapple. it had the most amazing fuschia color. flowering crabapples can have some really pretty colors, but there's something about them i just don't like. maybe it's the gnarly shapes of their trunks, or the fact that they leaf out first before flowering, which gives them a "dirty" appearance (compared to flowering prunus which often times bloom before the leaves show up). but who knows, i say this now, but once crabapples begin blooming in a week or so, i might change my mind.
i stopped again at magazine beach to admire the flowering cherries growing there. ever since i noticed them i thought they were kwanzan, but no kwanzan cherries have really bloomed yet (they're just starting) so these are definitely not kwanzans. for one thing, the flowers are semi-double, not like the double petals on the kwanzan. the colors are also too pale, more like a light pink, whereas kwanzans are a deeper pink. two of the trees are already post-bloom while the third one (middle) is right now at peak flowering. like at the arboretum, the strong winds were blowing off the petals.
when i got home i replaced the glass screen protector on my phone. just so happens i ordered some extra screen replacement kits so i was ready. unfortunately a speck of dust got trapped in the corner. when i lifted up the protector to clean the dust off, i just made it worse and the corner wouldn't sit flush anymore. i then went onto ebay and ordered some more screen protectors. i will have to live with an imperfect screen for the time being.