the sun finally broke free today and it felt warm for a change. a week's worth of wet weather has killed some seedlings, including a few thai basils and some flowers (zinnias). their fragile stems just couldn't take anymore rain and they lose turgor pressure and die. even the larger plants are suffering, more yellow than green, particularly the cucumbers. i've never seen anything like it, hopefully some sun will bring back the greens.

speaking of yellowing, all sorts of yellow flowers are blooming in the backyard. not counting the dandelions (which i continue to hunt down as if there was a taraxacum genocide), the greater celandine and some wild buttercups are in season, combining with the wood poppies which are still flowering. celandines and wood poppies are actually from the same family, although i consider celandines an invasive weed (their toxic yellow sap also cause dermatitis) while i welcome wood poppies. the only problem is it's hard to tell the two apart just from the leaves, although wood poppy leaves are more oak-like. as for the buttercups, i don't ever remember seeing them flower but i did notice the unusual ground cover by the old gerbil graves. it's fortunate that i didn't uproot them, they make a pretty additional to the backyard.

also blooming are the wild strawberries. some lawn enthusiasts consider them an invasive weed, but i don't mind. they do produce very tiny strawberries but they're bland in flavor. a long time ago we had real strawberries in the garden but they've since all died from neglect. it's probably too late to plant them now, although a quick craig's list check reveals somebody selling them for 50¢ a piece in waltham.

a small tree has sprouted besides the pussy willow. it has white flowers in a cone-like arrangement, with leaves born on red stems. the flowers don't really have any fragrance. i tried identifying the plant online but didn't find a match. it must've been there for a few years at least but i never really paid much attention to it until now.

i haven't visited my own community garden in over a week. i'm actually afraid to go, not sure what kind of damage i might see. maybe the other seedlings have germinated and i can put down the final layer of mulch before the mulberries fall.

my parents were still asleep when i got to belmont, and they didn't wake up until 1:00, but went back to sleep intermittently. it's probably a combination of jetlag and exhaustion from their 2 week vacation. there didn't seem to be too much relaxing while they were in china. since my father was too busy sleeping to organize all their photos, i went ahead and did it for them. i combined their photos along with my aunt lili's (she and matthew also went on the trip with my parents). the biggest problem was the date and time were all screwed up. i finally did manage to synchronize everything to within a few minutes. my hope is i can dump all 7000+ photos into ipad and use that as a portable photo album.

my next roommate who was supposed to arrive on tuesday (the same day victor leaves for spain) got in touch with me today to let me know he wouldn't get here until the end of the month. he said we wouldn't be able to meet before i left, and if i could leave a copy of the key with a local friend. i didn't quite understand what he meant until i realized he thought he was renting out my whole place for the summer. i wrote him back saying that wasn't the case, that i'd be here the whole time. after clearing up the confusion, he was still looking forward to staying here. in any case, that now gives me a week of single living before i have another roommate.

after a hasty dinner of pan-fried raviolis, i rode the motorcycle back to cambridge. victor periodically poked his head into the living room while i watched game 3 between dallas and OKC. the mavericks won, but the thunder made it interesting, coming within just a few points in the final few minutes.