Thursday, September 24, 2009

Last Weekend in Summer 2009: Critters at the Fair

Believe it or not, I was only at the fair for less than three hours. But trust that amount of time, I saw it all.

Like this for example:

An alligator show?
Why would anyone want to see an alligator show?
Alligators are like the couch potatoes of the swamps. They don't do tricks, they prefer to lay around in the sun, or sink to the bottom of a lake.

Apparently folks in Utah just eat that kind of stuff up. The rangers did a quick talk about how alligators show up all over Florida (and they didn't mention Texas, Georgia, South Carolina etc etc...) and that people feed them and that people shouldn't feed them. You could almost see the crowd shaking their heads in agreement in perfect rhythm.

A little baby eight foot gator was trying to be invisible at the edge of the pool. The ranger went over and started to noose him up...I left at that point.
Sheesh...if you aren't planning on eating a gator, then just leave it alone!

The whole thing brought back sad memories of Slick. I wonder how Slick is doing in the Texas sink hole. There hasn't been a new update on that sink hole gator in over a year.

(Now if you do happen to see a gator...and you happen to have a goat that you want to get rid of...oh never mind. There aren't any gators in Utah anyway.)

Personally I think goats are cute. These little guys were as cuddly as kittens.

A billy goat was busy charming the does. He was making the funniest noises.

I was hoping to see the all white goats, or the pygmy goats. Apparently each day has just one variety of goat on display. Secretly, I'd love to have a pygmy goat. My college roommate, the one that owned a 500 acre ranch, had a pygmy goat that had triplets. They were sooooo cute!

And wouldn't it be cool to be able to make your own goat cheese?

Of course it would!

And never having actually lived on a farm or ranch with a goat...I'll bet it really isn't as much fun as I think it would be.

That's OK. Leave me to my fantasy.


Maybe what would even be more fun would be a dairy cow!

I've recently read that one dairy cow produces enough milk in one year that you can make 700 lbs of butter. And it you aren't up to eating 700 lbs of butter, you can just get a really big walk in freezer and make butter sculptures!

Seriously...wouldn't it be sweet to have a little cow face like that to pat each day?

A woman in SLC owns a miniature cow, a Swiss I think it was, and she shares the milk she gets with a neighbor, saying the miniature cow makes just enough for the two families.

The teens were inspecting a castrated bull, or more precisely, a steer, which is what you call a bull that has been neutered. Bulls are much bigger than cows.
I learned that at Oregon State University, where my roommate Jen gave me a tour of the Animal Science buildings.
One bull at OSU was the size of a mobile home. It scared the bejeebers out of me when it started lumbering over my way. Jen was sitting on the fence and I was taking a picture of her at the time. I had never seen Jen move so fast in the whole time that I knew her.

Jen then told me that whenever one of her cows were balky about coming into the barn, she would just turn the bull loose in the pasture with the cow over night. The cow would be the first one back in the barn the next night.

Just a little "ag" humor there for ya!
Now this is where it got interesting to me.
They had created a cow breed library!

They had neatly arrange the cows (sort of...the cows tended to move around a bit so you couldn't always see their best side) beneath banners explaining the finer points of each dairy cow breed.

They needed a cow librarian to keep the cows neatly "shelved" but you could still get a good look at them.
Jersey cows are so sweet looking.

But then there are the chocolate velvet like Swiss.

(A small cow bell would have been a nice touch here.)

Guernsey cows are fun because their markings turn up with shapes like Micky Mouse and Madonna, and they get their pictures put in the paper when that happens. Sweet face on the cow don't you think?

It was so precious watching a little tot seeing a three week old calf for the very first time.
"Buddy" the calf was very good with the little hands that were eager to give him a pet.

I keep forgetting that Dairy cows and Beef cattle are quite different. I once saw a gorgeous book of cattle, scientifically drawn back in the 1800's with every breed of cattle known, with a picture of both the bull and the cow.

I recently learned that girl cattle are called heifers until they have given birth, at which time they become cows. Which just goes to show it is never to late to learn little details about the facts of life of other species.

The hide was like fine plush upholstery. Just beautiful.

I couldn't get over the size of this critters hind legs.

And isn't it lovely to virtually visit the dairy, beef and goat barn via my blog?
Without having to get that distinctive barn smell in your nose?

These buildings must be pretty old. It would be interesting to me to know how many animals that were shown this season were descendants of the prize winning animals that were first shown here?

And why don't they have a poultry barn and a rabbit barn like they do in San Diego? The goofy looking odd breeds of chickens and other fowl used to just crack me up.

All the sheep looked exactly the same to me.

I forgot to ask the name of the breed. Anyone out there know???

Sheep auction.
The sheep up for bid went for $400.
I have no idea if that was a low or high price for a sheep.
It was fun to watch the teen age girls grooming the sheep.

It was so hot, I think the girls and the sheep both enjoyed getting wet.

Oh NO! Another poor gator being harassed in Utah!
People, people...get over it.
It is just a really big lazy lizard, OK?
Move along. There is nothing to see here...

Go get yourself a nice deep fat fried twinkie, or a deep fat fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich for heaven sake.

I was planning on getting a fried twinkie, but the line was so long and it was really hot out there in the sun so I skipped getting that treat.
I was disappointed that I couldn't find the deep fat fried butter stand. I really wanted to see that for myself.

I settled for a sno-cone. Lately I've been craving sno-cones for some reason.

And with that my day at the fair was over.
Time to head home and see how Bernie's fence turned out.
I found my car in the parking lot and headed south towards home.
Passing this along the way:

Wait a minute....

It's the 9th and 9th Street Fair! (you can even see the official 9th and 9th Street Fair tee shirt on the guy in the picture above. )
The street fair was being held on the Corner of 9th North Street and 9th East Street.
Naturally, I pulled over and took a look around.

Ohhhhh....shiny stuff!
I just love shiny stuff!

And sweet little babies.
And couch potato dogs, also known as rescued racing greyhounds. They were available for adoption.

Check out those toe nails on that lazy dog!

Greyhounds are really sweet, but I feel so fat around them.

(And by the way...the baby boy a few pictures back? That was a doll. An amazingly life like doll, hand made by a local woman. Even the skin felt real. For $250, I could have a fake out grandbaby. I got the woman's card, just in case. I'll give the newlyweds a couple of years, then I'll bug them, then if I have to, I'll give up, give the woman a call, and buy a doll.)

Seven 0'clock and at last I am home. The fence looks great! Just a little more to go and it will be all done. B. assured me that he checked to make sure the cats could easily climb under the fence. That was assured as several neighborhood cats swung by to make sure that feature was taken into consideration.

Tiggie was not consulted. After that last incident with the neighbor's boxer, he was not allowed outside while Bernie work.
He was miffed, you can tell.
Bernie was pooped, but still got the going on mowing the lawn.
I got going on dinner (fresh fruit-raspberries, peaches, figs, cantaloupe, with goat cheese and balsamic vinegar, lamb garlic mint sausages, cheese muffins and home grown tomatoes with basil. Yum!)

What a way to spend a day: facials, waxing, massage, State fair and street fair. I left the house at 11 am, and was home by seven.
Sadly I missed out on going to the Farmer's Market, and to the Symphony with Circus del Sol performance that evening.

As I get older, I find I just can't seem to get to do as many fun things in one day as I used to.


Vicki said...

I think the reason the rangers didn't mention that gators thrive in other southern states is because only the Florida gators get attention for attacking people...or for winning NCAA tournaments. ;)

Doc and his family raised registered Red Angus (beef) cattle. Those were absolutely beautiful cattle...Perfecto, the bull, was a bit intimidating, however! Once, a calf was rejected by his mother and we had to bottle-feed him...rather, I had to. That formula was smelly and the bottle was huge and that calf didn't come when first called, but Perfecto sure gave me the eye! Troubles (the calf) didn't hang around too long...he went off to market at a fairly young age. Ah, memories!

Gosh, I'd say you packed a week's worth of activities into that one day!

Lovella ♥ said...

I was pretty sad that I didn't get Jill's explanation of the chicken barn. I thought you were saving it for the last animal barn and appreciated the heads up that they had none.
I smiled at the new knowledge of the girl cow . ..and when you learned about steers. Oh the things you never hear from your mother eh?

Oh .. but you did have a lot of fun, and even the things that didn't present themselves made me smile.. I wonder to how your sinkhole gator is doing.
Ever miss the old place? I can't imagine you would. I love SLC and I haven't yet been there.

Nice job on the fence B. . .looks good and straight.

Diane said...

Go Gators!
Diane in AL

Always enjoy your posts. I have never been to SLC, but it seems to be a wonderful place to live. Fried butter? Popcorn with butter sounds good.

A Lady said...

Oh wow. Have fun much? Awesome! I just read Lovella's comment, and the thought of your mom explaining the aging process and terms of cow definition, well, that sure put a smile on MY face!

Becky said...

Hi Jill! I obviously am starting to de-stress as I actually had time for a pleasure trip down blog lane! Good to see you are still on the adventurous journey, and capturing it in pictures along the way! Enjoy the Fall! Seasons are wonderful.

Judy said...

I had a good laugh about this post...and called my hubby to come laugh with me. You did such a good job on your dairy tour...I think I may just have to link it to the dairy tour I'm posting tomorrow. I left out all the technical stuff...that I thought everyone knew...heifers and steers and maybe I'll send them over to SLC to have it all explained.

I love these these odour-free tours!

Judy said...

P.S. I'm still singing your version of 'Chilliwack corn'...rather a catchy number you came up with!

Kathy said...

"Greyhounds are really sweet, but I feel so fat around them." Funniest thing I've heard in a while. Thanks for the chuckle.