don't put on high-fashion clothes, you won't need them buttons and bows,
i'm gonna take you to the county fair...
see a side show, eat barbecue, judge a pie contest 'til our lips turn blue,
do some huggin' and lovin' at the county fair!
---county fair by Phil Alvin (hear it on iTunes! p.s. thanks paul!)
last weekend i went to the columbia county fair for the second time (see pics from last year's visit here). it's a fairly perfect small rural fair and it was really fun. most definitely the highlight was the thing i still can't shut up about: petting the baby kangaroo you see above! as soft as a bunny and so amazing... and even better was the moment when we saw his brother, who had been hopping around on the ground, go back up to mom and CLIMB INTO HER POUCH!!! i had no idea a 2-foot-tallish joey could still climb into the mama's (who wasn't much more than 3 feet tall!) pouch and be completely enveloped; not even a paw stuck out. absolutely one of the coolest things i've ever seen! all this was thanks to the two by two zoo.
so yeah, the animals are what the fair is all about to me, and we proceeded to check out the less exotic varieties. however, in the poultry barn i became quite enamored with the indian fantail pigeons. who knew pigeons could be so beautiful? if we had these adorable little bell-bottomed peacocks prancing around nyc, i would certainly start throwing breadcrumbs out my window like my neighbors do!
we watched some 4-H cow and sheep judging and were fascinated by such concepts as udder placement and assessing animals (being raised and held by 10-year old kids) in terms of how they'll look hanging from a meat hook, and disregarding the parts that 'will fall on the floor' (i.e. the head and legs)!!! aaahh, the brutal reality of farm life...
and we learned a great deal about oxen, which up until then i thought were a breed of cattle, but now i know that 'ox' is more a title earned (by a castrated bull a.k.a. steer) through training, after first becoming a 'clever steer' and then a 'handy steer'. fascinating!
of course we ate lots of fried food; my lunch was this 'veggie plate', and a good part of a funnel cake, which in all the excitement i completely forgot to photograph.