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Let's Go to the Fair!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Every year, Shila and I go to the Washington County Fair. We go to look at the animals and people. And more and more, we go to take photographs. It is as if it were all set up for our photographs. People turn out and animals are tied up and waiting for us. Perfect.

Can you get me the heck out of here? I hate this. I'm on a 2-foot lead for four days. And I can't get away.
                                   I would love to, beautiful steer. But you are not mine to free.

I have a problem of empathizing heavily with the animals. So does Shila. We have to suspend that to do our thing. We're just there to record it all.

A Lineback. Such a pretty pattern! They come in a bunch of colors, but all with an unpigmented back.

             I marvel at the bodies of cattle. How we've shaped them to our needs and wants. Here, we want a lot of muscle.

A giant Gelbvieh bull. I love these guys, especially the red morph. So packed.


Each year, I exclaim anew at cow pelvises. Really, there's no animal in which I can see the pelvic structure so clearly. And that giant gosh. This animal simply couldn't survive outside of captivity and domestication. It could never get away from predators with a gigantic milk dispenser dangling between its runners.

Your blogger, humbled and awed by what we've done to Bos taurus. At one time, it was a fleet-footed ungulate, not a patient and long-suffering ever-refilling dispenser of liquid protein. Takes me back to when my kids were nursing. I loved it, but it does fool with one's body image. You forget for a few years that you're anything other than a dispenser.

photo by Shila Wilson

Shila and I stopped to ask this girl about her Jersey calf. She was showing it for her brother, who couldn't attend the fair. When she came into the stall the calf turned toward her and nuzzled her. It was so sweet to see their relationship and the trust and love between them.

It was much the best-looking Jersey calf there, too. 

A Boer goat. Bred for meat. I am sorry. This animal is entirely too doglike to be considered edible, at least by me. I am in awe of 4H kids for their ability to bond with an animal like this, then sell it at the fair. It is a necessary mindset, but one which would surely desert me at the crucial moment. Noooooo! I want to take Jimmy back Hoooooome!!

On to the wabbits. Of them, I prefer to kootchy-koo the ones that are bred for their looks. 

Netherland Dwarf, selected for cute.

A compact packet of rabbit. At about this point my nose starts to tickle so I quick hurry up and take some more bunnyshots before the eyes begin to stream. I once hugged a woman, got instant nosetickleeyestream action, and asked her if she kept rabbits. "Yes! I just cleaned their cages before I came over." Oh.

That's your problem, innit?
Gah, I'm sneezing just looking at these.

Always feel a bit bad for the rabbits, hanging there in their cages with lots of loudspeakers and bustling all around. 
Then I saw Owen and Josh who are my Science Club pals and Owen showed me how his Reserve Champion rabbit gives him kisses when he asks for them. And it did, twicet.

That was nice.

My fascination with chickens continues. I never tire of ogling chickens. 

Apparently they enjoy ogling me back. 

I was too excited to get the names of most of them, but I'm pretty sure this is a buff Orpington rooster.

Ever my favorite, the compact and perky Japanese bantam. The Japanese do cute very well.

A Polish crested who seemed intent on pulling out every last feather he had. Can't say as I blame him. I'd start with the ones over my eyes.

No idea what this little creature was, but look what they've done to his legs. Good grief. 
The whims and caprices of man, writ small on a poultry wall.
(I'm advised by a reader that it's a Mille Fleur D'Uccle bantam, a hen. She'd have a comb if she were a rooster). 

This was my favorite chicken, a bold and confident Foghorn Leghorn kind of rooster. We got ourselves a croon going and exchanged some pictures and thoughts. I had a hard time pulling myself away from him. I can't say I know what he was thinking, but it was a connection, that's for sure. Baaaawwwwwwwwwwwk.

More fair animals to come. The best kind.


Written in the spirit of fair play.

I just saw Chet Baker on the Shame Dog website. Poor Chet Baker. It's not so bad to lick tablecloths if you compare it to all those other very bad doggies!

I love this post and the pix! Reminds me of the York Fair (PA's state fair) which I grew up going to every year. Went through all the buildings - all the animals, all the crafts, and a huge taxidermied grizzly bear that was on display every year.

Just back from our house in Central Mexico out in the campo where the roosters and their harems run free as do the pigs. Goats, sheep and cows get herded to meadows on the mountainside. Just seems a little bit of heaven there to me.

Don't be fooled by the 4-Hers. They puddle up when they sell those cows. I know my farm friends did in the long-ago.

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The tan speckled chicken facing the camera is a Mille Fleur. Hideous little things, huh? My favorites are Light Brown Leghorns and Black Australorps.

Fair scenery seems a universal constant. This post could easily have been about our local Suwannee River livestock fair. Those 4H and FFA kids are often in tears at the final show and sale tho.
I Know I bonded waaay too much with the 8 show pigs my kid raised for the fair over the years. Pigs, like ducks, look you in the eye.

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