So it’s after the Fourth, but people are still setting off firecrackers early in the morning (or late at night, depending on how you look at it). This is illegal within the Austin city limits, and so is the sale of fireworks.

Just outside the jurisdiction, though, twice a year, for the Fourth and for New Year’s, American Fireworks sets up temporary sales establishments to purvey Black Cat items. As Austin expands, the fireworks stands are set up farther and farther away from the center of town.

What’s sold is pretty standard, but there are always special-label items just for the Texas market. Examples are assortments named Texas Buster, Texas Stampede, Lone Star Assortment, Little Wrangler, Texas Longhorn, and the like. We’re law-abiding and just replenish our sparklers, but we never can resist getting some Chickens Laying Eggs, or whatever they’re called. We never set them off, but the folded, old-fashioned chromolithographic hen that covers this mild item is very decorative.

It’s a relief that the noise of the season has been quite mild. I administer our neighborhood listserv of over 500 members, and for the first year that I can remember, there are no reports of runaway dogs. Sometimes people forget and leave their pets outdoors, and sometimes even indoor pets become so frantic that they jump out windows and break through barriers to run away.

We can usually see the public display from the house, but either it was too far west this year or somebody’s trees have really grown, because only the highest items were visible.

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