Sunday, June 30, 2013

the colors of summer

So many flowers this morning, many whose names I don’t know or maybe have forgotten, but some I do know: ox-eye daisies, orange hawkweed, goat’s beard, all the different clovers, buttercups, star flowers (or maybe stitchwort or maybe both), and … drum roll, please … bird’s-foot trefoil.

Daisies, clover, bird’s-foot trefoil, and friends.

Along the roadsides blue and pink lupines; along the porch wild columbine. Snip, snip, snip—off with those skinny dead heads!

The heady wild columbine.

The Honeycrisp apple tree has leafed out and Fireside’s blooms have been pollinated. Every morning I check both for caterpillars, usually finding a few thin, dark-furred critters moseying about. I squish them.

Bugs are rife and raft and all over, singing, clicking, buzzing, chirring, biting, crawling, scurrying, flying, zipping, zapping, chirping, being. In general, as long as they stay outside, they do not bother me. Only the occasional individual or horde becomes an irritant to be cursed or smacked.

The morning birdsong is joyous, but perhaps because of the oppressive heat by evening the birds are quiet. And everything sweats.

The lovely goat’s beard.

I live, at long last, in a field of wildflowers.

That crazy stillness before the storm. Sky all shades of grey and rumbles of thunder. Another warm and muggy day. Did a little business at the Hancock Tori and shot this video through a knothole in my display.

(And then the fans stopped rotating and the radio went silent and the wind whooshed in. Out on the porch I took this video.)

For the first time in two years, since I had electricity brought to the cabin, the lights went out. Elliott hunkered down in the bathroom. I made dinner and read. The storm passed and the electricity returned. Now, again, it is warm and muggy and incredibly still. Like living in a sponge.

The clouds of summer / western sky /
the view from a porch on a Thursday in June.

A flurry of ideas on this delightfully cool, clear, 40-degree morning. But they are like butterflies and my head a loose net. I heard something odd on the radio: Two-thirds of the cows in this country are milked by people who are here illegally. And the bumper mosquito crop has been good for business—The Soap Lady has been buying scads of beeswax because people are buying scads of her “Don’t Bug Me” body butter. (It contains beeswax.)

Yesterday, in the midst of a very good and busy farmers market but at a moment when no one was at the booth, I spotted a little white poodly looking dog across the way. I had two near simultaneous reactions. First, I thought of Oola and Pearl, my sister’s two little white poodles. Then, the dog cocked its head and there was an expression of what seemed to be curiosity for something ahead, and a feeling welled up in my chest and tears filled my eyes. These pangs have hit me a number of times lately. A few weeks ago after the market I was getting some hot tea at the muffin shop. There was a jar of dog treats on the counter. I thought oh, I’ll get one for Buster, remembered no, Buster’s dead, and looked around in a vague panic for a jar of cat treats to get one for Elliott, but of course there is never a jar of cat treats when you need one so I felt suspended. To get to the van I had to cross a busy street and it took too long—I was crying by the time I opened the van door. I’d been just fine until I saw that jar of dog treats.

My old pup Buster, about a year ago.

A couple of times at the market this summer I’ve been visited by a little dog who reminds me of Buster. The dog is a mixed-up, king-of-my-world-and-welcome-to-it terrier, and I’ve told the little guy’s owner how Finnigan reminds me of my dead dog and how seeing Finnigan makes me smile. Maybe he brings smiles rather than tears because he is so much his own little self, like Buster was so much his own self. One day Finnigan took care of business and then kicked bits of sod so high and far they flew every which way like a celebration gone wild.

The little white dog at yesterday’s market was toddling by my booth and holding back the tears was not getting any easier. I asked if I could say hello to the dog and knelt down to pet him, or her, I don’t know which, and all I wanted was to just grab that dog and hold tight, but I didn’t, I just petted and complimented and on their way they went.

Toward the end of the day I was sitting on the short wall that runs alongside and behind my booth. There’s a nice spot that puts me at the end of my display so I’m neither behind the table nor in front, just alongside. I noticed a girl coming toward the table from across the way. She was staring at the candles, smiling, transfixed, zeroing in. Others old and young, male and female, have come at my display in just the same way, with a look of wonder. I don’t know if it’s the color of the wax, the various figures, first one critter then the next, or what. I just know that they’re seeing something that makes them smile, makes them curious, that holds their attention, that draws them in, that draws them out. It makes my day.