Saturday, August 22, 2009

Iowa State Fair, Day Four, Part One

Wait....wait!!! What happened to Day Three?

Sigh, I'm a terrible blogger, I didn't take my camera for day three. Day three was actually last Sunday, the 16th, and I was at the fair from 9 am to 4 pm. Why? Because I was doing demonstration spinning on my wheel. I was part of a group of spinners, joined by a group of knitters. We were in the sheep barn all day, spinning and knitting. The spinners were provided with donated roving, and the knitters took our spun yarn and made it into hats for a local charity. It was a full sheep-to-yarn-to-hat cycle. Unfortunately, you'll just have to imagine it in your mind because I have no photographic evidence!

That was not the case, for today! Oh, where to begin?! Well, we started out at the llama show. Here's one of my favourite contestants - what a lovely colour fleece!
There was a tremendous variety in the colours and sizes and styles of llamas in the showmanship contest.
What's this? A llama with a blue eye!! I had never seen anything like it!
I'm not sure if she is blind in that eye and the pigment loss is a result, but she was certainly arrestingly beautiful! She also helped her owner win the showmanship contest!
Llamas have such beautiful faces - I love how they are all different in their expressions.
Here's the lovely girl with the blue eye - when she was announced as the winner of the showmanship category, they also announced that she is very pregnant. It's quite difficult to tell when llamas are pregnant, but because of the close shearing on this one, it is more apparent than usual. They don't get wider really, but they do get "deeper" through the back end, with a little added roundness.
Another lovely brown and white girl. Compare her silhouette in her hind quarters with the one above and you can really see the difference.
And one of my favourites again - an appaloosa. This one doesn't have as much brown as I would favour though. The lady to the right int he pink striped shirt was the judge. I think this one might be pregnant too.
The proceedings were watched with significant interest by another "guest" visitor. That enormous horse on the other side of that very tall wall is a Clydesdale. He was HUGE! And he kept peeking at the llama show throughout its course. I thought it was quite funny.
Eventually we moved on to the building that houses the baby animal displays. Of course there were baby chicks, but we have those at home, so I didn't take pictures of them. I did take pictures of the ducklings, who had a nice set-up that we might duplicate one day.
We saw a calf born just a few days ago, with its mother.
We saw lambs (but not as cute as Ms. Marshmallow).
We saw goat kids!

And then we saw....wait a second....what on earth?
Baby ostriches! Wow! That was a new thing for both of us! Little puffballs on long legs, with really big toes!Of course, we couldn't miss the rabbit show. This interesting breed of rabbit is called a Champagne D'Argent (which means silver champagne in French). They are born solid black, and in their first months of life, they slowly transition to that lovely silvery grey colour that you see here. The last place to change colour is the spot behind and between the ears.
This was a prize winning angora rabbit. What lovely fur she has for spinning!
This was the biggest rabbit at the fair - a Flemish giant. What a lovely purple ribbon he won!
And this rabbit is feeling roughly equivalent to what I am feeling after today. I have a lot more pictures to share, but I'm afraid they'll have to wait until tomorrow. Zzzz.....


Mom L said...

What a fun and interesting time you've had! Congratulations on being one of the spinners - wish I could have seen you. Maybe next year!!! And maybe by the time I visit you, you'll have your own duckling fall!


Jenny Holden said...

Looks like a fun time :o) Gotta love that duckling pond, looks like a playground for them!

Mare said...

Oh i LOVE going to the country fairs! But this year, with Bill in the hospital, we already missed most of them...But there IS that fiber festival in the Fall!Thank you for sharing your pictures! I really enjoyed seeing them.

Flartus said...

Yay; fair pics! I just spent about half an hour last night telling Miss Chef all about the county fair in my hometown. I never cared much for the midway; I always headed straight for the livestock area. Thanks for the peek into the barns!

LOL...the word verification is "horsing!" Too perfect!

Lola Nova said...

What lovely Llamas! Wish I could have been there to see all the spinning and knitting going on. Our state fair is coming up, don't know if we will make it.
My sister usually works the fair in the reptile tent. Snakes, alligators and tarantulas oh my! We are a family that likes the creepy crawlies. I'm sure they have a good number of fleecy type animals there too :)