Sunday, July 6, 2014

a gull and a crow feasting on road kill

Back on the road to the farmers market leaving a half hour early to accommodate my companion, Josie. Overcast and puddly, the world grey and green: lush and thick and unkempt green, plump with dampness, all around.

The mosquitoes are thick inside and out and there are one or two or three in the van and that is dangerous. Josie sees one and moves away, toward me; I see one and try to swat. The mosquito dips and darts through shadow and light. The top of my right foot starts itching, we know where that mosquito’s been. At this time of year the sting does lessen but the itch remains. Trying to sleep that night, Josie and I had suffered many buzzing attacks. In the end, we both dove under the covers and cowered, sleeping little, trembling a lot.

dog hanging head out car window
All dogs love an open window, and perhaps the draft
will suck out a skeeter or two.

The big two-parted market
From 9 to 11 a.m., strong, gusty, southern winds. A sparse crowd. A chill in the air. Shaping up, financially, to be one of the poorest of market days.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., a crowd. The wind settling down. The chill evaporating. And, in the end, financially, one of the best of market days.

It all changed when a friend showed up, the wife of a fellow vendor, the birch bark guy, who is selling at the market just occasionally this year. His wife sews, making bags and things, and she is dreaming about something called a quilting machine. We peeked in at Josie, in the van in his crate. The booth got busy, and Teresa helped by selling beeswax butterflies to a fellow sewer. Or something like that. The turtles sold out. The butterflies and flowers sold out. The bunny candles began to get noticed. I made a spur-of-the-moment discount, maybe two. It was that kind of day.

beeswax bunny candle
As the bunny burns.

Josie goes to market
Josie and I reunited Friday morning and leaving him home alone on Saturday while I went to work at the farmers market quickly became unthinkable. So we left early, had a good drive in, took a walk first thing upon arrival. After unloading the van, I said the magic words (“Josie, hut”) two or three times, and he got in his crate, head hanging, but body complying. I left the back hatch of the van open so he could watch while I set up, then we had another little walk. Back in the crate, hatch closed, windows open, he was fine. Quiet. We took another walk before heading home.

Dogs are not allowed at the farmers market. But it’s always good to know the specifics of these things. The no-dog rule, as listed in market vendor policies, is:
Customers/vendors may not bring/keep pets in the market plaza. Pets left in a vehicle are subject to enforcement by the Marquette City Police Department.
Two years ago, when leaving Buster home alone while I went to market was unthinkable, I called the police department to find out what laws or ordinances applied to dogs left in vehicles. I was told there were none specifically, but that what they do is respond to complaints about dogs left alone in vehicles parked in the hot summer sun because dogs left alone in vehicles in the hot summer sun can die. It doesn’t even have to be that hot outside—the temperature inside a sun-baking car can skyrocket in minutes. (Studies have been done.) So police respond to make sure the dog is OK. Leaving windows open a crack can help, but that isn’t necessarily enough. Which is why Josie’s in his crate with a bowl of ice cubes, windows wide open, and, as we go along, side doors can be open, too.

Even though dogs are not allowed at the market, they are accommodated. There is a “doggie hitch” at the grassy west end of the plaza and a tent set up where people with dogs can sit. And dogs can be walked on the grass surrounding the plaza. All in all, it seems to work out.

A day at the market can be so tiring.

A Sunday morning in July
At the market someone said to me: The bad part of the summer is almost over. Then we’ll have the good part.

We fell asleep listening to rain. Waking up in the middle of the night to let Elliott in or out, I don’t remember which, I watched as the fields lit up with fireflies. When we awoke this morning to a buzzing mosquito, I brushed it away and Josie licked my face. Elliott, at the foot of the bed, stretched, looked over, plotting and scheming, I’m sure, just how to get rid of this dog …