Independence Day may be over, but the fireworks in DC are just beginning. Hard to imagine this could be a controversial topic, but in the post-Trump age even an investigation into an insurrectionist attack on the US Capitol itself can become a bone of contention between the two Parties. Some of the very lawmakers whose lives were threatened by the fury unleashed by Donald Trump’s supporters, now stand by and opine that the attack was just high spirits or a typical congressional tour group.
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.
The nation’s largest city is about to change leadership again. Term-limited current mayor Bill de Blasio will be leaving Gracie Mansion in January 2022 and turning over the keys to … who? Metropolitan voter registration of Gotham’s 8+ million citizens leans heavily Democratic, by a 5-1 margin, but that hasn’t prevented independents like Michael Bloomberg or Republicans like Rudi Giuliani from taking the helm in previous elections. Most of the early action took place on the Democratic side, with eight contenders vying for the nomination in a first-ever “ranked choice” electoral process where voters rate their preferences and supporters of candidates who are eliminated in the first round of tabulation are assigned to others.
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.
Just in time for Pride Month, on June 21st Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player to come out as homosexual, in a very casual and matter-of-fact Instagram post. “I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” stated Nassib, in what sounded almost like an afterthought, a testimony perhaps to the non-event such disclosures have become in recent years. “I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest,” continued Nassib. “I really have the best life. I got the best family, friends and job a guy can ask for. I’m a pretty private person, so I hope you guys know that I’m really not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important.”
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.