Opening day

_C1_2268.JPGSpring so far is bringing the goods: one fantastic thunderstorm after another (one of which is going on right at this moment), and a beautiful, perfect opening day last Saturday for the outdoor farmers market on the square here in Fayetteville.




_C1_2379.JPGI think I stood in this one spot for at least an hour waiting for this moment to come together. It’s one I’ve wanted to get since the first time I went.




_C1_2506.JPGThanks for looking, and happy spring.


Selling Flowers

IMG_9639If you see people at Fayetteville’s Farmers Market walking around with fistfuls of boisterous lilies, pale puffs of virburnums and other bright flowers, chances are they came from the Dripping Springs Garden stand, where there’s always a line for the blooms and organic vegetables. A woman there named Nancy has bundled blossoms, matched up customers and available workers and overseen the swarm for more than 20 years. She has a quick smile, keen eyes, a lined face, flyaway hair and a bright gingham dress, so I asked to take her picture.

IMG_9647Yesterday was a solid market day, bright and warm and crowded. Down the block from the flower stand, another swarm gathered around a row of painted doors.

IMG_9594An Arkansas artist named V.L. Cox painted them, and apart from the bold colors and messages on those doors, I suspect they also drew a crowd because Fayetteville is still working through a years-long debate on the proper rights and protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people; an election on whether to punish discrimination against them in their workplaces and homes is coming up next month.

Anyway, have some more photos.








IMG_9586Thanks for looking! And have a good Sunday.



_C1_8146Since the Great Sand Dunes, I’ve been restless. The spring in the air and on the trees isn’t helping. I want to see new things, to soak in as much of the world as I can, come across different people and places and record them from a fresh angle.



_C1_8166I know two ways to do this: go to an unfamiliar place, and sink a bit further into the familiar until I see something different. I don’t know how good I am at either, but they seem like a solid plan. I tried both this past weekend — first at the farmers’ market in Fayetteville’s square, where I’ve been a hundred times, and at Pedestal Rocks Scenic Area, a section of the Ozark National Forest that was new to me.


_C1_8149This is Alex. She had a great smile and a great headscarf and a great plant that she walked with around and around the square — I kept seeing its branches poking above the crowd. She seemed like one of those people who are friends of everyone who passes by. I obviously had to ask for her photo.





_C1_8189Caves, limestone mushroom-rock columns and sandstone bluffs puncture the forest canopy in the Pedestal Rock Scenic Area, a little section of the national forest where spring has dyed the mountains yellow and light green. Its two loop trails together offer a three- or four-hour trek, which seems like the minimum for a hike after the dunes. The weather was perfect, room temperature and breezy. My trusty hiking partner Ryan came, too.




IMG_8042The pedestals are often at least 10 feet from the nearest bluff; I wonder if anyone has ever stood on them. One of the columns looked just like a chemistry flask. Meanwhile trees grow straight out of the bluffs’ lumpy rock.






IMG_8072Keep an eye out for the new, and thanks for looking.




Opening Day

_C1_3484Three girls — one in a red wagon, surrounded by colorful cookie boxes — wove through couples and parents and grandparents and kids. “Girl scout cookies, $3.50!” one yelled out. Booths of herbs or vegetables or ceramics lined all for sides of Fayetteville’s downtown square.

Dogs only as tall as their owners’ ankles sniffed at Great Danes and one Irish wolfhound, towering and stately. The breeze was cool under the crisp light of a warm morning sun. The smell of cinnamon rolls and muffins drifted enticingly through the crowd, mixing with the fragrance of a white canopy of tree blossoms.

Today was the first day of the season for the Fayetteville Farmers Market. Between the displays there were a whole lot of people, a whole lot of dogs and a whole lot of smiles — not to be too cheesy, but it’s true. So I took some pictures.







_C1_3591I’ll say again, there were dozens of dogs, most representing their own breed or mix. They, along with the many climbing opportunities in the square, kept a legion of kids happy.








That large, bronze sphere is the World Peace Fountain, which has the phrase “May peace prevail on Earth” inscribed in about a hundred languages.

All of these things kept the parents busy, too. But it was a fun place, and the market goes until November. I hope to make it back.

Thanks for looking!