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my alarm went off at 7:30am as i got ready to go see the head of the charles. the temperature outside was 41 degrees. i left a bit before 8:15am, riding my bike down to the river near the eliot bridge. after adding a new long screw to the rear bike basket yesterday, it no longer creaks and i rode without any problems.

this early in the morning, memorial drive was still opened to car traffic so i had to ride on the footpath along the river, following behind groups of slow walking pedestrians. i locked my bike to a sign post then walked the rest of the way to my favorite viewing spot.

it's been 2 year since the last head of the charles, and since that time the shoreline had been overgrown with new vegetation, enough so that i couldn't find my old spots anymore. i ended up finding a new spot, a clearing that was obstructed as the boats came up the river but an open view southeast as they made their way to the finish line, which i could already see from the yellow buoy marker. the better shot was after the rowers passed by, since only then could i see their faces. directly to the east was the glare of the rising sun shimmering on the water, i made the mistake of not wearing my progressive glasses on the one day when it could've been most useful.

when i arrived the women's youth singles was already taking place. by the time i was secure at my vantage point, the women's youth fours started. the bit of biking i did and standing out in the sun made me feel hot enough that i took off my sweater and put back my jacket. even though i was still sweating a little bit. i also brought some hot black tea in an insulated tumbler.

sunday mornings it's when all the youth rowing events happen. i would've rather preferred seeing the collegiate rowers, but that'd be in the afternoon and i had other things to do. back in 2019 i'd just gotten the canon 80D and the 55-250mm lens, so i'd already photographed the event with my new camera equipment. i read the blog entry from that day and got some notes: shoot in aperture priority f/8 with ISO between 400-800. the best photos are when the rowers are either pulling back or leaning forward. water splashes add some action, and when boats overlap gives drama. 2019 was more of a grey day, while today was very sunny. that meant glare, so a lot of shots were either in silhouettes or very bright hot spots. by mid-to-late morning the sun had moved enough that i wasn't getting as much over-exposure, but given the choice, i would've rather preferred a grey but bright day.

i found out that silhouettes make nice photos: rowers backlit by the sun, water glittering like stars, splashes aglow. for 300 photos i accidentally hit my aperture dial and had it set to f/14. it was right during the youth fours and a lot of those photos ended up being blurry as the shutter speed slowed down to 1/400, not fast enough for action.

at one point a couple came up and stood right next to me. i had a feeling they were trying to take my spot. the husband was gushing over how great the view was from where i was standing, and said it was best the vantage point on the course as he called to let his group know where he was. the wife was a bit more polite, and kept dropping hints to the husband that they should find someplace else, but he wouldn't budge, as his wife left to look for a new spot. i found out they were from sacramento, here to see their senior daughter compete in the youth eight. she'd competed throughout high school, and been to the head of the charles every year except last year due to the pandemic. she got recruited to notre dame next year as a member of their crew team. i asked the husband for his number, told him if i got any good photos of his daughter i'd sent to him. he continued mainsplaining the head of the charles to me, i didn't bother to let him know that i live nearby and come see the events every autumn. his wife called him a bit later, she'd found a different spot, and called him over.

after the youth fours (8:24) there was the directors' challenge women's quads (9:02) followed by womens youth coxed quad (9:19) and finally women's youth eights (9:44). during a lull in the action, stepped on some tall plant stems that was obstructing my view, to make way for a clearer visit. i started heading back by 10:30am.

since i passed by the community garden, i decided to stop and get some photos of the monkshood. i got home by 11am. i used the bathroom again (didn't have a satisfying poo earlier) then took a shower. i left for belmont a bit before 12pm.

i had some more shredded zucchini omelettes for lunch. my mother seemed sad that we didn't have anymore garden zucchinis. after lunch my sister called and my mother left to rendezvous with her and her dog to see the head of the charles.

i went into the basement to check on the mousetrap: no mouse yet. just to be sure, i opened up the trap to see that the peanut butter bait was still there.

i went into the backyard and dug up the hot pepper plant from raised bed 4. i used fresh potting soil, didn't want to reuse any of the raised bed soil in case there were insect eggs. the only other garden plant that needs to be dug up is the lantana. my father said it seems very hardy, seems to be growing just as well in 40 degrees temperature as it did in 90 degrees summer. i read that lantana can tolerate some light frost, but to keep them alive here in new england, they must be potted and moved inside. they prefer cooler temperatures for their dormancy, but 60-70 degrees under the grow light is fine for them.

our front yard holly tree has a massive flush of red berries. i think it's because we didn't prune the tree at all this year. hollys are either male or female, and female hollies need male hollies to produce berries. just so happens this isn't just one holly tree, but two growing in close proximity. as luck would have it, the other holly is a male, that's why we can get so many berries. the tree seems to be a favorite with birds, and the leaves are tough enough that we never have to worry about insects. my only concern is the trees are getting quite large now, half of which overhang into our next door neighbor's yard. we volunteered to trim it, but i think losing that conical shape would make the tree look ugly.

rabbits continue to eat at the edges of the outside garden chrysanthemums. they never did before, so why start now? which makes me think it's not rabbits that's eating the mums, but rather the neighborhood groundhog, which we haven't seen at all this year.

the jets-patriots game was at 1pm today. i was watching it in the background but i should've paid closer attention because it was a great game, new england totally dominated, matt jones scored on every single possession in the first half. the final score was 54-13, patriots the first team this season to score 50+ points.

in the late afternoon (after the game) i flew the drone, hoping to get some nice autumn foliage shots from the sky. late afternoon is actually a bad time because the sun is so low to the horizon, the trees are not lit but rather shady. i should've flown an hour or two earlier. i took a high elevation panorama, but coming down and doing a flyby of the neighborhood, around the burbank school then back again. my battery was about to run out but i was coming back anyway because i filled up the 256GB memory card and it wouldn't save anymore photos/videos.

when my mother came home so brought back a copco cabinet organizer she found. we put it in our cabinet, which gave us an opportunity to sort through all the neglected spices. the 3-tiered organizer is a better solution than what we had before, which was just a flat tray. my father had to wash the inside of the cabinet because the vinyl shelf lining had melted into an oily goo.

after dinner i returned home. temperature had dropped down to 49 degrees. my upper body was warm, but my legs felt a little cold through the jeans. there was no parking spot available near my house so i ended up parking 2 blocks away, in my safety spot. i also put the cover over it as later tonight it's due to rain for the next 3 days.

i took 3225 photos at the head of the charles today. that's about average, considering last time i captures 6000 photos, but that was attending both morning and afternoon rowing events. i sent some photos to the husband i met earlier (via e-mail and text), but i never heard back from him, he completely ghosted me.