The daylily garden is really beginning to take off. Some of the plantings are now in their third year on the property, and it shows. I have one stubborn year two variety that just won’t bloom – Exotic Love. Rather fitting, don’t you think, as elusive as love can be? But all seven of the new first-years gave me something, which is unusual. Small and sparsely budded, they bloomed out early, but as a group they have done better in their first season (by percentage) than the prior plantings. They are in a prime location, ringing the seating area atop the sandmound, in full sun, so I’m sure within a couple more years they’ll be as voluminous as the rest.
Posts by Alex Miller
Highland Park is an Illinois North Shore suburb which, though just 25 miles from downtown Chicago, has always retained a small-town feel, with an ethnically mixed, middle-class population of about 30,000. The annual Independence Day parade has been a feature of the civic calendar for decades, drawing crowds of families to watch the typical summer parade staples of high school marching bands, gleaming red firetrucks, floats and local dignitaries, complete with candy and prizes for the kiddies.
But on July 4, 2022, this peaceful bit of nostalgic Americana was invaded by a 21st Century reality check, as a lone gunman fired multiple rounds into the unsuspecting crowds from a rooftop perch along the parade route. Pandemonium ensued, with panicked people scattering in all directions, leaving behind lawn chairs, strollers, picnic lunches and bikes.
Proving it has its finger firmly on the pulse of the corpse of America, the US Supreme Court on June 23 ruled that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense, effectively upping the ante on concealed carry legislation that is sweeping the nation. This in the wake of recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas, with more than two-thirds of Americans polled supporting tougher gun regulation. For more than a century, New York has had a gun safety law that bars the concealed carry of a firearm without a permit and requires good cause to obtain the permit; the conservative supermajority on the SCOTUS struck it down 6-3, ruling for the plaintiff in New York Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. The case was the first the SCOTUS had weighed in on Second Amendment issues since 2010.
It’s been a cool spring, and as summer commences, that trend has largely continued. So the garden is a good 2-3 weeks behind where it was at this time last year. But on the upside, rainfall has been steady and regular, so everything is looking very lush, without any backbreaking effort on my part. Just how we like it!
It didn’t quite make it to fifty, but for almost half a century legal abortion has been the law of the land here in the US. No more.
On June 24, 2022, the gavel fell on Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 decision guaranteeing reproductive rights, overturned 5-4 by the current US Supreme Court. The test case which led to Roe’s reversal was Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which sought to prevent a Mississippi state law virtually eliminating abortion after 15 weeks from conception. That law was upheld 6-3, but Chief Justice John Roberts joined the progressive minority on the Court when Roe itself became the target of his conservative colleagues.
On June 15th, 2022, the House Select Committee on January 6th released Capitol security footage of an unofficial tour led by Congressman Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) the day before the January 6th Capitol Insurrection, clearly showing participants taking photos of congressional security checkpoints, stairwells, tunnels and basement hallways. Not your typical tourist highlights.
Shortly after the attempted coup, Loudermilk was rumored to have assisted potential 1/6 rioters in “casing the joint”, providing access to areas normally reserved for members and staff. At first Loudermilk denied giving any tours at all. Then he said it was just families with young kids. Then he admitted touring a group of 16 adults. During a time period when official tours were banned due to COVID concerns. But it was totally normal. Riiight….