after she was gone i could use the bathroom in peace. i didn't stick around long, leaving for belmont by 10:15am, to wait for the heating oil delivery truck to arrive.
i parked the motorcycle in the driveway and decided to wash it while i waited. in all it took a total of an hour including waxing before i finally finished at 12pm. i went inside to watch the news and get something to eat: some sweet potato chip crumbs and a package of hazelnut spread crepe.
around 1pm a heating oil truck pulled up in front of the house. i was in the backyard at the time taking videos of my lotus plants when i heard the rumble and went out front to greet the delivery man. when i asked him he told me he'd already delivered to 20 houses this morning, all over eastern massachusetts, from billerica to tewksbury. he only had one house left after this one. i was surprised heating oil companies are so busy during the summer, he told me because some people heat their water with oil. when i asked him how he knew when to stop filling, he said because i'd only ordered 100 gallons. i said they made a mistake, and asked him if he could fill it up all the way. unfortunately he was running low on fuel, otherwise he'd do it. after he left, i called fireman's fuel and asked them to deliver again, this time to capacity. the woman on the phone said sometime next week, i said we weren't in a rush anyway.
with that i was free to go, but instead i spent 2 more hours in the backyard doing yard work, mostly weeding. i discovered a small aphid infestation on my milkweeds and using the hose and my fingers to wash them off. unfortunately i wasn't looking carefully enough because hoverflies had already laid eggs amongst the aphids and syrphid larvae feed on aphids. only after examining some photos did i finally see them. the photos don't show any larvae, but do show eggs (look like grains of white rice) and empty husks of aphids sucked dried.
i collected a bunch of lupine seed pods that'd dried up and turned black. because of my father's pruning, the quince bush has flowered a little bit, confused that it's still spring. peppers and tomatoes have already set fruit, we may be able to harvest in 2 more weeks if we get enough hot and sunny weather. i spotted a squash vine borer hovering around our only squash plant. i couldn't catch it in time to kill it, but i did discover some eggs laid around the stems which i promptly picked off. the buttercup squashes plants are starting to flower, but these are probably all male flowers. the plants have yet to send out runners yet. i deadheaded the columbines, maybe they'll produce another flush of flowers. the bucket that contains the rooting willow plants had filled up with mosquitoes even though i added mosquito bits; i emptied out the bucket (pouring the water onto some vegetables because it contains rooting hormones) and refilled it with clean water, adding some more mosquito bits. i don't know why this small container of water keeps on getting mosquitoes while i've never once seen them in the lotus barrels.
i brought my 18-55mm kit lens which is better for videography, but unfortunately i forgot to bring the 58mm circular polarizing filter to cut the glare on the water surface. instead i continued to use my 60mm macro lens which has a 52mm CPL filter. the first coin leaves on all these lotus plants seem to have a fixed size, about 3" in diameter. lotus leaves also make strange shadows - lobed - combined with the stalks, their shadows resemble palm trees. there are some strange things floating in the water: little tiny pools of oil and transparent blobs, one or both of which could be Bti bacterial colonies. i also saw some tiny germinated grass sprouts floating on the water. the smallest lotus plant - the one that i left in belmont for my father to plant - has produced a 2nd coin leaf stalk. i was worried that my either planted the seed too deep, or maybe it was stunted (my father didn't notice a secondary bud when he planted), but a 2nd coin leaf means this particular plant is viable just like the others. the oldest lotus is about to make its 4th coin leaf, almost breaking the water surface. after that i don't know what will happen, as the plant will begin making aerial leaves. we'll need to construct a new critter cage since we won't be able to simply drape some chicken wires over the barrels anymore.
i returned to cambridge around 3pm, riding my shiny new bike. after a quick shower, i watched the world cup semi-final match between england and US. US scored first, but england tied it up a short time later. in the 2nd half the US scored again, and looked like england managed to tie once more but the equalizer was nullified when the referee announced it was offsides. england had one more chance to tie it on a penalty kick for an iffy foul, but the US goalkeeper managed to stop it, very impressive. US won 2-1.
i watched a teenage girl loitering around outside my house. she was wearing socks with flip flops which i thought was a fashion mistake but kids these days are bringing back the fanny pack so who knows what else is hot right now. she seemed to be speaking on the phone with someone, walking back and forth and looking down the street as if waiting for somebody. suddenly she started running and only then did i realize what she was doing: she was hurdling my motorcycle! the strange things that happen around the neighborhood when i'm not here to see them is astonishing.
production wasn't too bad considering how cloudy it was this morning. something strange happened around midday: the graph shows up hitting 8.02kW. our theoretically maximum is 8.04kW, although we've seen the inverter jumping above 8kW+ though never sustained long enough to be charted. even when i checked the panels timeline, didn't see the numbers adding up anywhere near 8kW, so it must've been an anomaly. the graph takes data points every 15 minutes, so it's not entirely accurate, especially when it's a semi-cloudy day and production is jumping up and down.
annie came home around 5pm and immediately started making dinner. she made a mess of peeling a cauliflower in the sink, either it was rotten, or she only wanted to eat the stems. i found out she wasn't cooking seafood this morning but rather preparing some mushrooms that had gone bad in the fridge. i went out to star market to get a bag of salad and some ice cream sandwiches. i ate half the package of salad, mixed with some chopped mini sweet peppers. even after i was finished, she was still cooking, sautéing some ground beef and vegetables in a small pan and then eating everything as is.
later in the evening - around 9pm - i heated up a brick of lasagna in the microwave. i may try heating it in the toaster oven next time, as it heats unevenly in the microwave and the center is always still cold.