Today my friend Elaine and I went to the County Fair in Pleasanton. We had loads of fun looking at the animals and crafts and so forth.
For example, from highlights from the Fiber Arts and Food hall:
A first prize in cake decorating:
A very vibrant quilt (the colours were a bit less saturated, but not much):
I liked the pattern on this quilt:
And this was a professional entry that was very impressive:
Several tables were set up with place settings on themes. Most of them seemed like exercises in creative shopping, but this one impressed me because it used crafted pieces (the china was hand-painted). Plus, I loved the theme:
Then we went to the Small Animals exhibits. There were lots of animals to coo over, like these parakeets:
And this pile of bunnies:
And these awesome pigeons:
I admit that every now and then I think I would love to have a dovecote on the roof full of pigeons. I don't know what the neighbors would think.
They would probably look at me like this:
I also occasionally think it might be fun to buy a few dozen quail and let them loose in the neighborhood. Probably not one of my finer ideas.
This is a bantam chicken. They're basically just small versions of the same big chickens, although some breeds are not available as bantams and some are not available in full sized chickens.
These geese were making quite a ruckus. Hooooonk honk honk hoooooooonk. The long necks only make it funnier.
We went into the "pet store" and admired the piles of ducklings and chicks for sale. Look at all these ducklings:
And loooots of day-old weensy baby chicks. These are bantams, so they are extra-tiny little puffballs.
This frog was also pretty funny. A couple came around the other side of the tank looking for him, and burst into laughter when they saw him.
There was one exhibit hall entirely filled with cages of chickens and rabbits, some for sale and others just for show:
This sign brought to mind a certain over-quoted movie:
Most of the rabbits seemed pretty mellow, relaxing and just sort of hanging out in their cages. A few were anxious and clearly not happy with the noise of the show. This one was keeping an eye out.
This one clearly subscribed to the theory that a good nap makes everybody feel better:
Here are a couple of angora rabbits:
And of course, chickens. This is a bantam Seabright:
Looks like somebody laid an egg.
We admired the plumage on the bantams; many of the smaller breeds have quite lovely feather patterning.
Elaine was quite fond of this configuration:
I liked these guys, though they look somewhat diseased close up:
Then it was time for lunch...
I had deep fried ravioli (the St. Louis treat!)
Elaine had a pulled pork sandwich:
And for dessert we split a funnel cake, ending up entirely covered in powdered sugar:
Fair food is fun, though I admit it is more fun in concept than in execution. I really just love the look of the concession stands:
After lunch we made our way to the large livestock pavilion. Where we saw this interesting and informative (if somewhat weird) diagram:
(Did that steer have the head of a frog?)
There were some steers to look at, but the exhibit was mostly smaller hoofed animals like goats:
And lots and lots of pigs:
We briefly watched a steer show:
Then headed off into the Amateur Garden exhibit hall. We learned how cows are awesome and help prevent fires:
And learned that you should eat carrots, raw eggs, and pellets, but should not eat carrot tops or broccoli.
We admired the cut flowers entered in the show:
Saw a small urban gardening exhibit,
And spent quite a bit of time ogling the beekeeping booth.
Including a terrific observation hive setup:
I liked this ice cream stand, which reminded me of driving around with my sisters-in-law last month, looking for vanilla/chocolate twist soft serve in Minneapolis.
And boggled at this until i realized it did not say "Shiksa Shack":
Then we made a brief stop in the Small Animals exhibit again to make a purchase:
Yup, Elaine bought herself a lovely gray female English Angora rabbit, and I've promised to teach her how to spin its fur (since I can't tolerate being around rabbits enough to do it for her).
We made one last stop for cotton candy on the way out, and then it was time to go home and get the new bunny settled.
A great day for all concerned, except maybe the rabbit did not care for the car ride home.
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