Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How Now Brown Cow -- A Day at the NY State Fair

The day was perfect for going to the Fair! Our first visit was to the Dairy Animal building which was populated mostly with the Holsteins that you see in the background of this shot. They are the big black and white cows you see everywhere here in NY State. Dairy farming is the biggest agricultural activity here in NY. This, however, is a Jersey cow. My good friend Jane came from a dairy farm near Oneonta and her parents raised Jerseys. Jerseys have very high fat content milk while Holsteins produce lots of milk. Here in NY, farmers are paid for volume not fat content. Her brother finally threw in the towel and gave up raising the dairy cows and got a job in a nearby town. I only saw this one Jersey in the show!

This was in the meat animal building and these two are Highland steers which were really quite beautiful. They had plaid banners over them so you can guess their origin! Evidently they are very good breeders and are pretty to look at as well. All the animals are soooooo clean and well groomed in these animal buildings.

This was Warren making friends with one of the lovely fuzzy bunnies that were displayed!

This was in the dairy products building. This lady does cheese sculpture all over the country and of course used NY cheddar. She passed out the cut off pieces and it was delicious!!

A real high point of the day was the building that housed the poultry!! So many beautiful roosters and some were just huge! They were mini-artworks in themselves.

This was the view looking down the main promenade. I have literally never seen so many vendors with different products. Inside the buildings there was every pitchman you have ever seen selling everything from $5000 sets of pans to the imitation chamois that you see advertised on tv (okay, I did succomb to that one). It was kind of fun. We can honestly say that we didn't eat one healthy thing all day!! I probably came closest having my very favorite soft serve ice cream (NOT frozen custard). Ummmmmmm good!

The Horticulture building housed mostly vendors (as did most of the non-animal buildings). There was a small dahlia and hosta competition as well as a flower arranging challenge. The dahlias were gorgeous and HUGE -- bigger than my hand.

These were more of the beautiful dahlias -- I do love dahlias!

This is the Horticulture Bldg. entrance. It was built in 1937 and was one of several buildings with interesting architecture and artistic features. I was surprised to find these older permanent fixtures at the fair. It had the feel of an old World's Fair site.

This is a closeup of the building in the previous picture. You can double click to see the detail. It isn't mosaic but is painted and raised work.

I had to take a photo of this ad for the healthy food available!

I truly wish I could have gotten closer to this show which was a Raptors show. This was a Marsh Hawk that was patiently sitting for his turn in the limelight.

These were the two barn owls. I wish I had seen one of these in the "wild". Beautiful creatures!! He also had a couple of Tiger Owls which looked like Horned Owls to me. They were just huge animals with a five foot wing span. The young female was much larger than the male. This was a fascinating show but I couldn't get in very close. It was almost worth going back for!! The narrator has made appearances on a lot of the late night talk shows and he was charming as well as very knowledgeable about these beautiful birds!!

I of course had to take a picture of one of the many quilts on display in the crafts area. This was a particularly nice wool quilt that greeted you as you entered!

After five hours of walking around the whole show, we headed home and a dinner of barbeque along the way. We slept well last night!

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