As August waxes, the garden wanes. With the entrenched heat and increased drought, the riot of color that was early summer and July fades to straw and dun tones as Lammas passes, and only pockets of vibrancy remain to remind one of the garden’s heyday. I used to trim back spent or dying vegetation quicky, but I’m eco-systemically “woke” now, and realize that lots of critters depend on this garden detritus for their winter shelter, so I (try to) embrace the bleak, apocalyptic landscape emerging. (Well, it’ll be good for Hallowe’en, right?) Many early autumn bloomers are still budded, but some are starting to reveal their beauty, and a few summer stragglers fight bravely on.
Asteroid Astrology: Page 6
The professional sports world was stunned on July 27th by the announcement from star American gymnast Simone Biles that she would be withdrawing from the 2020 Olympics, citing mental health concerns. After performing a qualifying round for the vaulting competition, Biles made a hard landing, affected by what gymnasts term “the twisties”, when one’s sense of balance and positioning is lost during vaults or dismounts. Biles went on to withdraw from all team and individual competitions, later stating that the unexpected loss of her aunt two days before the Tokyo games opened, and memories of sexual abuse from her coach, had combined to dangerously distract her focus.
Daylilies have always been a part of my experience of this property, from my earliest remembrances of the lemon lilies my mother brought with her from my grandmother’s garden. Bright shining yellow, these late May bloomers are still the first to open, though the encroaching maple shade has thinned them to a precious few.
Olympic hopeful Sha’Carri Richardson is covered in “grass” stains after a stumble and fall on her quest for a Gold Medal. The track phenom, noted for her streaming masses of flame-orange hair as much as for her athletic prowess, failed a drug test for marijuana use and was given a one-month suspension on July 2, which effectively prevents her from fully competing in the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, beginning July 23rd. The suspension was retroactively imposed on June 28th, making Richardson free to compete after July 27th, so though she will miss the Women’s 100 meter, her qualifying race, she could conceivably participate in the Women’s 4 x 100 relay scheduled for August 5th. However, Richardson has been cut from the roster of the US Olympic team, and will apparently not be allowed to compete at all.
June can be a slow month in the garden, visually; the spring bulbs and ephemerals are long past, seeds have barely sprouted, bedded annuals are still teeny things just starting to grow, and summer perennials have yet to open. But as the month progresses to the solstice, pops of color begin to emerge.
It’s déjà vu all over again, as Yogi Berra would have it. Less than four months ago I put down my rescue cat Charcoal, who had a cancerous tumor in his mouth, and now his companion Cleo follows him across the Rainbow Bridge, from the same complaint! Cleo and Charkey were very close, and she hasn’t been the same since his passing. Her eating habits had become erratic, and she was isolating more and more in the upper reaches of a storage unit in the laundry room that was their home. After a few initial forays into the spring sunshine of the garden, she refused to go out, and the weekend before her death, she stopped eating completely.