first thing i did when i arrived in belmont this morning was to check the perimeters. that's when i spotted the rabbit sitting in the eastern shady garden bed. my father and i tried to flush it out onto the street but it was too stupid to run through the open gate and instead ran to the southeastern corner of the yard, behind a stack of raised wood piles, and disappeared. i looked along the fence and spotted the rabbit hole. repair work would have to wait.
it was a sunnier day compared to yesterday, and the solar water fountain was working at maximum capacity. my father found a large plastic dish (the bottom tray of a large pot) so the water won't spray out. i took the opportunity to try the different nozzle heads. there's one that's just a nub, which puts out just a constant dribble of water, almost the same effect if you didn't have any nozzle attached at all. the one i'd been using has 6 "orbital" holes and one center raised hole. that one gives a clean controlled spray. the nozzle with 13 holes has the most sprays, but the resulting spray is kind of a mess, not suitable for a small dish. the final nozzle has 6 orbital holes and 1 flat center hole: that spray forms a tight stream, as the side holes combine with the central hole.
after some egg pancake with pork floss for breakfast, we left by 11am for a supply run: costco, restaurant depot, finally super 88.
the everett costco was surprisingly empty given that it was a sunday afternoon. most likely because it was a nice sunny day, those who could were out enjoying the final few summer weekends.
my parents decided to skip restaurant depot, as we had too much frozen items in the car and not enough insulating storage to keep them from defrosting. instead we went to the malden super 88 market. along the way we passed by a new asian supermarket that'd opened up, new wei feng market. super 88 seemed to have less products than usual. they didn't carry any of my usual snacks.
we arrived at the cafe by 1:30pm to drop off the supplies. we returned to belmont by 2pm.
first thing i did when we got back was to patch up that rabbit hole behind the log pile. i first had to clear away enough logs to reach the hole. along the way i found some large leopard slugs which i quickly dispatched, i'm no friends of slugs. it was in an awkward spot that i couldn't install a 4x1 ft. length of wire fencing, so instead i used a length of chicken wire and stapled it to the fence, burying 3in. worth of chickenwire at most. i'm hoping it's mostly rabbits who come into the yard from the eastern fence, and rabbits aren't as strong a digger as woodchucks, so a little bit of chickenwire will hopefully keep them out.
while playing around with the solar fountain i glanced at my lotus plants and was surprised to find a single leaf stalk poking far out of the water: an aerial leaf! finally, with august midway through, we have our first aerial leaf. hypothetically anyway, since the leaf was still closed. it could very well flop back into the water. i could really care less if we get aerial leaves or not, but aerial leaf production indicates that the lotus needs fertilizing. however, all the online info i read said to wait until 2 or more aerial leaves before fertilizing.
i moved the bird bath to the DIY fire pit since it got more sun exposure. i hadn't seen any birds visiting but i knew they were there from evidence of bird droppings and feathers floating in the water.
moving water makes for a great photo subject. you can shoot it slow shutter to gave it a smoky dreamy look, or a fast shutter to capture all the individual droplets. i went with fast shutter, testing the upper limits of my 80D shutter. i pushed it as far as 1/2500 sec., the water drops like crystal beads floating in the air.
buttercup squashes are one of our success stories. they're easy to grow and once they get started they grow pretty. however, we weren't expecting to encounter all the things that feasted on the squash. i knew about the vine borers, but i wasn't exactly the rabbits, skunks, and woodchucks to all take their toll. despite it all, from a cursory count, we have around 20 squashes at this time, of varying maturity.
as for those pale squashes, i was worried that they just might stay pale, but i checked through my records, and all buttercup squashes develop that way, eventually turning deep green as they mature.