despite the forecast of rain by the early evening, today was actually another nice day. maybe not as sunny as yesterday, but definitely warmer, with temperature in the 70's. i took the motorcycle to belmont around noontime when i checked online and saw that garden refuse pickup was this week. when i got to my parents' place, there was a belmont water department an parked right on the sidewalk grass. the engine was running but there was nobody around. i put my hand through the open window and honked the horn to get somebody's attention. one of the contractors from across the street came out. "is this your car?" i asked angrily. he said it wasn't, that it belonged to one of the town officials, and they can pretty much do whatever they want.
i snap a few photos, determined to file a complaint with the town. a few minutes later some people finally came out of the house. "this your van?" i asked. "yeah," a young guy replied. "move it off the grass," i told him, "park somewhere else." he didn't seem to react, and then i saw an older man who looked to be his boss, and i repeated the same message. both of them simply ignored me. they finally drove away a few minutes later. later when i went online to look for a belmont complaint department, i noticed there wasn't one.
from the looks of it, the trash trucks haven't been around yet judging from the full bins around the neighborhood. in hindsight that was unusual, but i thought i just lucked out, as i dragged out nearly a dozen bins of garden refuse from the backyard. afterwards i went inside and saw that my father found the letter from the town committee saying that starting this week trash pickup will be on wednesday instead of tuesday. that's why nobody had picked up the trash yet, it won't happen until tomorrow.
i spent some time in the backyard watering the plants. it seemed unnecessary given that it'd rain later, but it was so hot i felt the garden could use some water. i accidentally kicked the wooden side of a raised bed, which cracked from a combination of rot and previous termite damage. moments later i looked down and saw the area was crawling with ants, which apparently have built a nest there. i don't know if that's a good or bad thing, but it seemed gross, so i flooded the area with water, hoping to drive them away.
afterwards i did a garden survey. we've had this house for over 35 years and over that time we've added a lot of plants to the backyard. some have disappeared (many fruiting trees like apple, plum, and cherry), some have remained (peonies, daylilies, violets, lilacs, lilies-of-the-valley), and some have been added over time (quince, japanese maple, bamboo, grapes, hostas, ferns, spiderworts, ornamental grass, hydrangea, irises, various bulbs, honeysuckle). seems like every season we add something new. last year i planted the korean garlics and added some red columbines. this year we have our two new flowering trees and i planted the monkshood yesterday.
it was cold in the house relative to the warmth outside, so i opened a window to let some air circulate while i ate lunch. i brought an blueberry muffin which i heated up in the microwave. it used to be one of the reasons i come to my parents' place is for the cable television, but now that we share a youtube tv account, whatever streaming channels they get i get as well. i watched some MSNBC while i ate. i finally left by 2pm.
i stopped by the cafe because my sister asked me to check up on hailey who was home alone. when i asked her to go outside to use the bathroom, she wouldn't leave the couch, so i left. my father was also in the process of relocating all the cafe grown jasmine to the belmont backyard, where they can thrive under real sunlight instead of artificial lighting. my father also had an unusual blue/purple flower that he had growing in a pot; i couldn't identify it, but wonder if it's one of the flowering seedlings i started last year but never had any survive (linaria 'licilia azure'?).
back at home, i grabbed my rosemary and went down to the community garden to survey my garden plot and plant the rosemary. the last time i was here was 3 weeks ago. a lot has changed since then. invasive plants have taken hold of much of the plot: mint, creeping buttercups, grass, lemon balm, and milkweed. the milkweed patch i started at one corner of my garden has now spread to nearly the opposite corner. it far too invasive, i have no choice but to dig them out completely. there are also a lot of tiny striped mallow seedlings which will be in danger if i ever till the the soil. i'll try to save as many as i can.
i've decided also to dig up some more perennial plants and relocate them elsewhere. things like the ornamental grass and the sensitive fern. finally, i've always been confused by how monkshood leaves look so similar to creeping buttercups, both of which i have growing in the garden. turns out it's because they belong in the same family, ranunculaceae, the buttercup family. delphiniums also belong in that same group, that's why their leaves look very similar as well. like monkshoods, delphiniums/larkspurs are also poisonous, but unlike monkshood, they're just toxic, not deadly. buttercups - as far as i know - are innocuous. the one thing i didn't see in my garden were any foxgloves.
in the late afternoon i watched the liverpool-barcelona champions league match. they'd already played before, back in barcelona, where the catalan team won 3-0. liverpool needed to score 4 points to advance into the next round, all the while preventing barcelona from getting anymore goals. it was pretty much impossible against perhaps the best team in football but liverpool managed to pull out a miracle, scoring exactly 4-0 to advance them into the champions league final. i texted sandy during the game, as i know she hates liverpool, which makes me even more of a fan by my contrarian nature. besides, liverpool is owned by john henry, the owner of the red sox, so it's natural for any boston sports fan to root for them as well by extension.
i had time to get some groceries but i got lazy and decided to heat up something frozen for dinner instead; grocery run will have to wait until tomorrow. by early evening (6pm) the sky turned ominously dark. eventually it rained, but quite light, more drizzle than shower. for dinner i heated up some french bread pizza.