i left my house at 11:15am, taking the bicycle because i thought it might rain later today. my ride was laden with supplies. heavy, hot, i pedaled first to my sister's place to check out the pine tree that my father said was covered with mealybugs. i had a feeling it was something else, and turns out they were some type of woolly adelgids. normally natural predators would take care of them, but this was an infestation. even so, it was simply enough to treat, either spray with insecticidal soap or neem oil. the bigger problem was this pine tree was planted there for fun, but now it's grown taller than a human and eventually it's going to become a large tree, eclipsing the house altogether. bottom line, the pine tree will have to be removed.
i continued on my way to belmont. i had some crispy pancakes for lunch. originally i thought it'd be too hot to do any gardening, but i still found myself in the backyard. some weeding, some inspecting, some photographing, and i also watered all our vegetables and a few ornamental plants with miracle-gro soluble fertilizer.
a few notes: saw a mat of mosquito eggs floating in one of the lotus barrels. i'm not too concerned, since as soon as they hatch, the Bti instantly kills them, as evidenced in the other barrel, which contained a few dead mosquitoes. i tucked two pond pellet fertilizers in the tangles roots of the reed plant. i checked for vine borer eggs on the squashes, only found a few, nothing like the 20 i saw on wednesday. either the SVB ran out of eggs, or maybe it flew to a different garden and somebody managed to kill it. many of the mixed winter squashes have germinated alongside the basement entrance, we'll need to put up some trellis at some point. the red milkweed beetle has disappeared from the potted milkweed plants. some of the daisies have bloomed. even though none of the long beans have started climbing yet, their leaves have turned a deep green, which could be a result of bean plants being able to make their own nitrogen fertilizer.
we left for my aunt and uncle's place in arlington after 4pm for a barbecue. the last time we were there was more than a year ago, before the pandemic, for a joint birthday celebration.
we took a tour of the garden before we began eating. maybe it was the hot weather, maybe i had too much beef jerky before i came, but i wasn't very hungry. i still thought it might rain (it never did), and once the sun dipped behind some neighboring trees, the backyard deck became very cool with a nice breeze. there was also no mosquitoes, although from the corner of my eyes i kept seeing robins pecking at the lawn and chipmunks scurrying over the rock walls. at one point later in our stay, we saw a bunny chew on one of the hyacinth bean plants. i chased it away. later after 5pm my sister came by as well after closing the cafe for the day.
my aunt and uncle got a sodastream machine so it was all-you-can-drink seltzer with a dash of grapefruit juice, very refreshing on a hot day. there was tiny lobster pastries, chicken wings, steak, as well as hard kombucha. my parents bought a bottle of erguotou baijiu, but it was still too hot to be drinking chinese hard alcohol, and my aunt told us to bring it back home.
after the barbecue, i demonstrated a drone flight (which i brought). matthew asked me to take a video of the front part of his roof which was leaking, so he could show the footage to his contractor to get them to fix the leak. i knew they lived close to a no-flight zone as it was in the path of one of logan airport's runways, but because they're far enough away, the restriction was only no higher than 465ft, and i was just flying as high as 400ft. this was just the 2nd time i flew using the iphone 7, had zero connectivity or app crashing issues. i knew DJI updated the fly app just a few days ago, i'm curious to try my google pixel 3XL phone again to see if they resolved any of the crashing issues. i never flew in arlington before. the thing that surprised me was how many houses had solar panels, and even more surprising were how many had below-ground pools.
we left around 7pm. my aunt gave me a used japanese benriner madoline slicer. she kept reminding me that the blades weren't installed yet. matthew gave me father a potted hops bine (cashmere variety) and gave each of us a beer that was made specifically with these hops. i left soon after returning to belmont. it was still light enough that i didn't bother putting on my bike lights. i was in a rush to get home to watch the NBA game, and even had it streaming from my phone while i biked towards cambridge. only when i got back did i realize the game wasn't starting until 8:30pm, plenty of time to use the bathroom and take a shower. i tried the cashmere beer, there's a bitterness from the hoppiness, but also a complexity of floral flavors. i don't mind the flavors, but really like the bitterness though.
this was game 7 between the bucks and nets in brooklyn. kyrie irving wasn't playing but he was on the bench. it felt like a finals game, not the conference semi-finals. at first it looked like the nets was pulling ahead, but to their credit, the bucks kept the game close and didn't allow it to get out of control. the ending was crazy, and went into overtime, with kevin durant nearly winning the game with the final shot that ended up being an airball because he was too gassed. milwaukee ended up winning, waiting to see who will win the 76ers-hawks game tomorrow night. but i feel like with their victory over the all-but-anointed brooklyn nets, the championship is milwaukee's to close. sure, the nets were depleted without irving, and they kept saying harden was injured even though he seemed to be playing fine, but brooklyn is still a formidable team under the tutelage of kevin durant.