Sunday, August 30, 2009

Oregon State Fair

John and I went to the fair yesterday with our son, Owen, and daughter-in-law, Sarah. We left at 8am and picked them up in Eugene at 9am, arriving in Salem shortly after the fair opened for the day. The weather was perfect; warm, but not too warm, with an overcast sky.

We headed straight to the animal barns. First, came the sheep! One of my favorite breeds is the Navajo-Churro. Their wool is gorgeous and comes in marvelous colors and if I had this breed I would take up spinning and weaving.

The second breed I like are the Shetland sheep. These are the sheep I would probably get if I moved back to the country and we had sheep again. They are small and could be managed much more easily than larger breeds. They also have lovely wool and I could again see myself learning how to spin and using the yarn to knit.

At the end of the sheep barn, there was a large stall with people crowded around. We went over to see what was there and found a sow with her piglets!

Next came the chickens!

Here are Sarah, Owen, and John entering the building.

I'm not especially fond of the strange looking, fluffy, poodle-looking like chickens, but it was lovely to see examples of the breeds we used to have--Barred Rock and Rhode Island Red. I'll admit I became enamored of the small and delicate old English breeds. The building wasn't conducive to photography, but I did get this one photo.

We also saw Toulouse geese like the ones we had. There were also some Welsh Harlequin ducks. I had forgotten how beautiful they were.

I did manage to get a photo of John with a rooster which belongs to his co-worker, Lee. The rooster's name is Stella. I don't know why.

After thoroughly washing our hands at one of the many hand-washing stations set up outside the barns, we looked for something to eat for lunch. We ended up with barbecued ribs, coleslaw, and beans. After washing our hands again we found the Americraft Center.

There was a lot of competition in the baked goods divisions, but it was disappointing to see so few canned fruits, vegetables, and jams. I had looked forward to seeing the knitted entries, but there were surprisingly very few. I could only find three pairs of socks. There were several small lace shawls and they appeared not to have been blocked. There were many, many quilts. Quite a few were hung high up on the walls making them difficult to see.

There was one area, however, where quilts were hung up so that viewers could see them close up and here is where I took many photographs.

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