i headed to belmont early today, left before 10:30am, hoping to catch some squash blossoms before they close up for the day. unfortunately by the time i got there it was already too late. my father had already removed the only male squash flower this morning and hand-pollinated the few female flowers.

the big project for the day was to install a hops trellis for the cashmere hops plant matthew gave us. my father had already dug a hole next to the 8ft platform ladder. unfortunately it was too close to both the cherry plum and wisteria, so we dug a new hole, pulling up clumps of ornamental grass in the process.

with the hole ready, next we had to built the trellis itself. i figured we'd just bury a bamboo stalk, but my father said it'd be better to bury a metal rod and tie the stalk to the rod for stability. we pulled out a long bamboo (10ft) from the garage and ended up sandwiching it between two rusty old u-posts held together with coils of wire. on the other end, we drilled crisscrossing holes on top and passed through some lengths of metal clothes hanger to hold the twine in place.

after anchoring the trellis with soil and compost, we finally buried the hops plant. it was in a fairly deep pot but when we took it out the soil was already crumbling apart and there didn't seem to be a lot of roots. regardless, the plant still seems healthy enough, with 6 bines. we had 5 twine lines coming down, wrapped 2 around the center twine. with that our hops trellis was finished. after my father watered, i layered some salt marsh grass on top to keep out the weeds and prevent the soil from drying up. hops flowers are normally harvested at the end of the summer. it's a bit late to be planting hops now, but we still have 3 solid months to grow. the trellis is in a good location, next to the platform ladder which means it'll be easy for us to collect the hops if it should grow up that high. i read that a hops plant can grow 2ft in a week. we may need something longer than 10ft for next year.

sometime in the middle of our hops trellis construction my mother called us in for lunch: kielbasa, fried egg, mantou bun. i was then in the backyard until 3:30pm, despite the humidity and the heat. there was a strong breeze today though, so it didn't feel nearly as hot despite what the numbers say. sometimes when the sun was beating down on my back though, i could feel the rays cooking.

some other random garden work: i trimmed all the quinche suckers emerging from underneath the quince bush. i noticed some large quince fruits this year, most likely because we pruned back a lot of branches back in the spring. for some reason there were a lot of ladybug larvae living in the quinche bush, i tried to save as much as could, relocating them elsewhere in the garden. i found about a dozen more squash vine borer eggs. i actually enjoy finding them, like a natural history version of where's waldo. my father and i also tied the tips of the squash plants to the bamboo trellises. they're growing so fast, it just takes 1-2 days before they need to be tied again. i spotted a small escaped bamboo and dug it out. i'm worried that maybe i didn't get all of it, because i never pulled out the rhizome, just the stalk. but that whole area is still held together by bamboo roots, it's going to take a few more years before they're totally cleared out. i planted the rose cuttings my father had made. he had soaking in water hoping they'd root; that's one way but the chance of success is something like 20%. a better way is to dip the end in rooting hormone and plant them, which is what i did. i think the cuttings are too small, maybe we can get a longer piece next time. i did some weeding, pulling up any creeping bellflowers and spiderworts i found in the garlic chive daylily corner of the yard.

today was day one of the two day amazon prime day. i keep on reading about how many of the deals are actually not deals, and after a cursory browsing of what sale items were available, i wasn't very impressed and i wasn't going to be tricked my amazon into some sense of false urgency. i did check out the instant pots though. the one i'm using now belongs to bin bin and i borrowed it from their place since they're not here, but i really like one of my own. i wanted a more advanced version, one that has temperature control, so i can make amazake. i've actually been researching since last night. the custom temperature keep warm versions were all $110-120 price range, too rich for me. there was a newly designed duo plus (6 quart) that was selling for just $60 but was now down to $55. the function i had my eye on was the sous vide, which allows a custom temperature range between 77-194°F, perfect for amazake. the only catch is sous vide involves a water immersion, unlike the more advanced IP's which have dry/wet custom temperature keep warm function. but at 50% the cost, the duo plus was the better bargain. i thought about it and ended up buying it. i forgot i also had a $10 off amazon prime coupon, so the final price (not including taxes) was just $45. i also got a 1lb tank propane refill adapter for my father after i showed him we could refill our old 1lb tanks using the 20lbs propane tank.

my sister stopped by in the late afternoon, probably coming back from hiking with hailey. hailey caught some bubbles in the backyard then drank from the bird bath. my sister said it was too hot in the house (80 degrees) and returned home where her AC is on 24/7.

i thought about flying the drone all weekend but never got around to it, and didn't fly today (monday) either. now that i'm working with a super stable iphone 7, i've only flown the drone twice. i don't like flying when it's too hot. the drone itself naturally heats up, but add additional heat and i feel like that a recipe for machine malfunction. i'm hoping later in the week when we have some better quality i might take the drone further out, to do some naturing plus drone flying. have to check my old notes to see where i can go.

my mother used up some leftover frozen smoked easter ham to make a noodle broth for dinner. i returned home around 7pm. there was no basketball tonight, which gave me a chance to see some movies on the free trial of HBO/max.