I’ve put a lot of time, energy and money into establishing a diverse shade garden under the canopy of the paper birch and Norway maple in the southwest corner of the yard. Flanked by a large, now ancient, stand of mixed lilacs in the south and the new eight-foot fence in the west, further screening it from the sun, the area cried out for development, and after three years, my efforts are beginning to pay off. The problem was the rootiness of the area, the lack of proper amendment to the dense clay soil, and the insatiable appetite for moisture from the shallow-rooted birch, which creates a dry shade environment in its drain field.
Posts by Alex Miller
Election Day 2022 promises to be quite a stunner, a supercharged day which is, ultimately, unpredictable. Held November 8, the day features multiple activations of Uranus, the planet of the shocking and unexpected, disruption, turmoil, revolution and change, including a conjunction by the Moon and oppositions from the Sun and Mercury. As well, it’s the day of the Sun/Mercury conjunction, and the Sun/Moon opposition, which just happens to be a total Lunar Eclipse!
The latest in a string of seemingly endless mass shooting hate crimes unfolded in Buffalo, New York on Saturday, 14 May 2022, when 18-year-old suspect Payton Gendron unleashed a hail of bullets from his modified AR-15 weapon at a Tops Friendly Market, killing 10 and wounding three others. Nine of the dead were black and specifically targeted for their race by Gendron, who is white and had released his White Supremacist manifesto online days before the shooting, then live-streamed the initial stages of the massacre from a camera mounted on his helmet. Clad in body armor, Gendron drove 200 miles from his home near Binghamton to exterminate individuals he feared were “replacing” whites as America’s majority, and had made the trip at least twice earlier to select additional targets, which included a nearby black church and an elementary school.
On Tuesday, May 17th, 2022, the Keystone State of Pennsylvania holds its Primary Election, fraught with import for ultimate control of the US Senate. GOP incumbent Pat Toomey is retiring, and with his seat up for grabs, there’s a good chance for a Democratic pick-up, which could reinforce their Senate majority. Far ahead of the pack for the Democrats is current PA Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, polling at over 50%, with current US Representative Conor Lamb trailing with just 14%, and two other “also ran” asterisk candidates. Most of the drama in the race has been on the Republican side, with three main contenders attempting to out-Trump the others in appealing to the all-important MAGA crowd. Trump himself has endorsed celebrity candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz, the controversial heart surgeon-turned TV doctor, in a move “Rolling Stone” magazine aptly hailed as “Fraud Endorses Quack.”
The 2022 Kentucky Derby came to a startling and unexpected “Wow!” finish, as long shot Rich Strike came from behind in the last furlong to cross the finish line ahead of favorites Epicenter and Zandon. At odds of 80-1, Rich Strike’s victory was the second-greatest upset in Derby history, and paid off handsomely for the few clairvoyants who saw it coming. And it almost didn’t happen; as of 8:45 the previous morning, Rich Strike wasn’t even slated to run, but a last-minute scratch by Ethereal Road opened up a spot with two minutes to spare before the 9 AM deadline for registration.
The cold which had been such a feature of our early spring, and threatened to damage emerging buds and leaves, has continued in a less severe form into mid-spring, and has now become my friend. Normally by Beltane most of the narcissus have bloomed and faded, with just sporadic dots of color across the garden, but the extended period of below-normal temps this year has acted like a florist’s cold case, preserving these beauties well into May.