Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Poultry passions & vegetable vagaries at the fair

Monday was a great day at the Lucas County Fair --- for those of us who value vegetables, favor flowers and are passionate about poultry.

the food stand, of course, is a continuing cornucopia of carnivorous contentment featuring as it does barbecued pork, beef and lamb sandwiches plus beefburgers with the added attraction of homemade pie. I settled for raisin this year, since Mary Ruth's gooseberry was not on the menu, and was not disappointed.

So far this has been an ideal year for gardeners in the south of Iowa, so Jim Secor --- who superintends the vegetable entries --- was feeling a little overwhelmed by midmorning. Entries already had overflowed the allotted tables and shortly after the photo at the top was taken, he took off to find more (portable) display space.

The situation was similar in the floral department, where every inch of available display space was covered with blossoms.

I made my way next to the poultry and rabbit barn, but averted my eyes when passing the rabbits. So far as I'm concerned, cabbages have more vivid personalities than rabbits. Chickens, on the other hand ...

They're so human in a feathered sort of way --- lively and engaged, prone to burst into song when happy, cackle when distressed and erupt into mass hysteria when assembled in large numbers. The similarities between human males and roosters in full crow are especially obvious.

These lovely White Leghorn layers won my congeniality award, although it should be noted that the hen in the foreground is preparing to crush a recently laid egg.

I'm especially fond of Buff Orpingtons, and this fine specimen of a hen and I spent a good deal of time considering each other. She eventually pecked the lens of my camera when I poked it though the chicken wire.

Her mate, prone to the occasional crow, was the only male bird in the building. It would do human males good to consider occasionally how expendable roosters are.

This trio of demure Orpington pullets won my heart.

But the Dominques were lovely, too.

And their neighboring Barred Rocks wore similar coats of feathers.

From the barns I went directly to the food stand, where the lines (one on each side of the building) were long, but speeded along by volunteers who walked along chatting and filling out order forms. This is an amazingly efficient operation, by the way.

I had planned to photograph my beefburger and pie, but after hauling them back to a barn and settling down behind a counter with  friends who were awaiting the judge --- just ate without a second thought.


Joe Holder said...

Not that I'm prejudiced or anything, but having been to many 4 H fairs in many counties, and several different States, but the exhibitor buildings and layouts are still the finest that I have seen. and to be honest, they pretty much beat the Wisconsin State fair layout. even for the small fair that it is, the participation numbers is massive as compared to much larger fairs that I have browsed. congratulations for keeping at least that part of it going strong.

Carolyn H said...

I agree with Joe, the Johnson Co fair is a little disappointing after seeing the Lucas and Wayne Co fairs.....! If you ever see the Wayne Co Museum, there is none better.