late last night i already saw some germinating lotus seeds forming their characteristic j-hook sprouts. once they've successfully germinated, they grow very fast. out of the jar and into a bowl, i counted 6 seeds that were in various stages of germination. funny little nicknames i gave them last night no longer applied as they've quickly outgrown their shapes from just 8 hours ago. of the 5 remaining seeds that haven't sprouted yet, i think most of them show sign of rotting on the end where i sanded. even if these last 5 end up being duds, i'd be happy if just these 6 are able to survive into mature plants.
i'm still not quite sure what exactly i did to have a better germination rate this second time around at raising lotus seeds. i sanded instead of cut, and only the tiniest amount. in the future i might be tempted to sand a bit more but the sprouts can emerge from the tiniest of openings, so that doesn't seem critical. i might also want to try sanding on the side, but i still doubt if that's a better way to scarify than dimple end sanding. i didn't use the aquarium heater because i believe the warmer water contributes to rampant bacteria growth which makes the seeds rot faster than the sprouts can germinate. but that's only because it got warm enough indoors that i didn't need to use the heater. maybe the heater is still an option, i just need to dial it down even lower. finally, i've been putting the lotus seed jar by the window. maybe sunlight exposure also triggers seeds to sprout faster.
after a shower, i took the motorcycle to my parents' place a bit before 11am. today was even warmer and drier, with some wispy clouds in the sky but mostly sun, an optimal day for solar production. i found my mother doing some laundry (taking advantage of the free electricity), hanging up the wash on our makeshift shepherd's pole clothesline. she also hung up some blankets to deodorize in the sun. my father was cleaning up the area around the wooden swing chair and later washed all the lawn furnitures.
i had chinese chive boxes (韭菜盒子) for lunch while watching the world cup match between england and cameroon. the english were the odds favorite to win. cameroon managed to score twice but both times were negated by penalties. england ended up winning 3-0. later i had a slice of green tea honey cake. in the afternoon my sister stopped by with her homemade ice cream which she's been asking for us to try all week long: green tea, adzuki bean, and pistachio. she wants to sell them at the cafe but the cost of ingredients (especially the pistachio ice cream, which was half pistachios) might be prohibitive. she said she didn't use a machine, just heavy cream and condensed milk. i'm no stranger to sweets but even i draw the line on condensed milk, that stuff is just too sweet.
the 2nd coin leaf was still rolled up yesterday but today it had mostly unfurled (as of 1pm). strange thing is the new leaf has a reddish tinge, but hopefully it will turn green once it receives enough sunlight. that wasn't the case with the first coin leaf, which came out green, but it took a few days to open up because it was so cloudy.
my mother wanted my father and i to checked the basement delonghi dehumidifier (DD50PSC), she said it wasn't working because she hadn't noticed any water coming out of the pump tube in a while now. turns out the pump just wasn't turned on. the moment i hit the pump button, i could see air bubbles in the clear vinyl tubing then finally water coming out. i also attached a smart plug to the dehumidifier so we could 1) control it remotely and 2) get a power consumption readout. my father was thinking about installing one of our many AC's in one of the basement window, because an AC can function as a more efficient dehumidifier. unfortunately the daewoo DWC-055RL we have in the basement is missing the window shutter frame attachments.
my father was outside enjoying the weather but came to get me to check out some bugs he saw outside. originally he thought they were cockroaches, and even killed one a few days ago when it came into the house. they were in fact fireflies congregating on the lawn besides the maple tree. why there were so many i don't know, if i had to guess maybe they'd all just hatched. i tried to take some photos with my fancy new camera with the fast focus but even that was no match to the fluttering non-stop flights of these insects. i'd known about fireflies for a while now, but whenever i turn one over, i never see the glow section on their abdomen. the only time i've ever seen fireflies was back in high school, playing laser tag with friends around claypit pond. besides mosquitoes, there were also the tell-tale soft eerie glow of fireflies. [correction: the reason why i've never seen the glowing tail section of these fireflies is because these are daytime fireflies - Lucidota atra AKA black fireflies - that don't have bioluminescence as adults].
when i checked on the lotus around 5pm, the 2nd coin leaf had completely unfurled by that point. it was still red which made me a little nervous, but everything else seems to be going according to plan. the 1st coin leaf has an obscenely long stem, a result of me waiting too long before planting it. underwater the stem of the 3rd coin leaf is starting to come on. according to prophecy, there will be 4 coin leaves before the aerial leaves start forming.
one of the things i look forward to when coming back home is seeing the progress of my lotus seeds. the 6 germinated seeds have grown longer, the 5 non-germinated seeds remain inactive. two of the germinating seeds look like their sprouts are barely squeezing out of the seeds, while 3 others look like the seeds had burst open. then there's one seed with a sprout that seems to be struggling to get out, but there's a large seam down the side so i'm optimistic it'll find a way to break through. based on my father's advice, i ended up separating the germinated seeds from the non-germinated seeds, so the rotting seeds don't contaminate the living seeds.