Find the Wabbit

It’s staring right at you. I tried a closer shot, but it hid in the high grasses. I maintain this wild corner of my garden in hopes that animals like rabbits will eat stuff they find there rather than in the expensive pollinator garden to their left. Its main purpose turns out to be a flophouse for deer. They bed down here for the night and then leave deep long impressions in their wake.

In the Happiest State in the Happiest State.

So UD’s home state (really home: born in Hopkins Hospital, spent summers at crab feasts on the Bay, grew up in Bethesda) has just been named the Happiest State in America by Wallet Hub.

Okay, no.  Hawaii is the happiest – duh – but Maryland came in second.  Second!  Let us ask why.  Let us count the ways.

1.  Am I blue?  Am I blue?   A glance at the full happy list tells you that Democratic states are far happier than Republican, and it doesn’t get any bluer than Maryland, My Maryland.  Even our Republican governor is a Democrat.  He calls the Republican running to succeed him a ‘QAnon whack job.’

2.  Money does buy happiness.  We’re always ranked in the top ten wealthiest states, with a huge amount of government and high tech and corporate stuff wedged into our tiny domain.  My little town’s budget – I live in a place called Garrett Park – can only be called an embarrassment of riches.  And unlike our saddest states – Louisiana, Mississippi – we don’t worry that everyone’s going to steal everything.

3.  “Community and Environment” is one of three major categories on which the study focuses.  My park-like town is small and my state is small.  I know my neighbors. Most of us volunteer for stuff and are charitable with our money.   I know my representatives.  I’ve met Senator Chris Van Hollen twice – at a small dinner, where we talked at length, and then in Vermont, at a mutual friend’s birthday party, where we talked even more.  Van Hollen arranged it so my old friend Terry’s father – who captured Tojo! – got the military recognition he deserved.  One of my neighbors hosted a meet and greet for Jamie Raskin – then her American University colleague – and I got to know the guy.  Raskin’s January 6 Committee eloquence made me … happy.

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It ain’t rocket science.  The very saddest states – look at the list – tend to be corrupt, and they feature isolated people who hate the government.  The very happiest contain lucky so and so’s like me: Beneficiaries of accessible, rational, pretty uncorrupt government; strong communities which tend to use their wealth generously; and beloved, well-tended, natural as well as civic settings.

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And don’t forget to combine isolation with guns all over the house!

New Tripod Sprinkler in the Garden…

… as the season changes and empty spots appear. Saw one in Pier 450‘s bayside garden and decided I wanted one too.

Some kind of orb weaver…

… hangs from its threads inches from my sliding door. Out of focus. Best I could do.

La Kid Turns 32.
Montgomery County, MD: Always Raising the Bar!

Montgomery County Planning Board Chairman Casey Anderson had “over 32 bottles of hard liquor in his office where he routinely create[d] mixed drinks and distribute[d] them on a significant scale.” 

A Screech Owl Feather…

… turned up as I raked away dead summer stalks in my pollinator garden. It’s ten inches long.

I’m not surprised to find it. Late afternoon into evening, I often hear owls hooting in the high trees – and we’ve got scads of rabbits and other treats for them.

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Update: Okay, a reader tells me it’s too big to be from a screech owl. Back to Google Images. Maybe a hawk?

Finally getting around to preserving this great old poster…

… featuring Mr UD‘s father, who worked with Le Corbusier in Paris. We’re hoping it can be restored to the point where we can frame and hang it.

My friend Ben cycled to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens today…

where many of the lilies and lotuses are currently in full bloom. A couple of his pix:

Surrealistically beautiful.
This summer’s hibiscus crop…
… bursts out with amazing, very brief, blooms.
By Mail. A Few Days Ago.
La Kid, very early this morning…

… was in a business class lounge at Dulles Airport. She’ll be in London for ten days, half of them celebrating a clearly over-the-top wedding of an old friend (stretches for four days), and the other half in a Mayfair townhouse, training for a new job.

It remains, for Les UDs, a constant mild shock that their spawn works in the heart of the heart of capitalism. Both UDs come from academic families. Mr UD‘s family, for centuries, was about landowners/government officials.

With the exception of my father’s immigrant father, who owned and ran Rapoport’s Department Store in Port Deposit, Maryland (Grampa Joe: Early Capitalism / La Kid: Postmodern Multinational Capitalism), you just don’t find much capitalist activity in our background. We feel like Ma and Pa Kettle as we marvel at La Kid’s five-star ways.

After the Goats at A Little Farm and Nursery…

one of four stops on today’s Chesapeake Bay adventure,

… we returned to our late afternoon garden.
La Kid had an “intimate, chef-driven experience” last night at…

Gravitas restaurant. The phrase is from their website.

I’d like all the details, but I respect her privacy.

Garrett Park Fourth of July
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