Faces from the County Fair (Part One)

It’s that time of year again.  Or rather, it was that time of year again as the fair ended yesterday.  If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that attending the Portage County Randolph Fair has become a tradition with us and with our oldest son and his family who join us each year to have a look at the animals, maybe ride a ride, maybe sample some food, and just generally enjoy the day and each others company.

Every year I find the fair to be a more interesting experience, partly because rural living has become more and more our way of life.  Not completely.  Not yet.  Probably not ever as we do enjoy certain aspects of being near a few cities that allow us to indulge in the benefits of their cultural scene.  But when you have a small amount of acreage to take care of and you realize that acreage includes other beings that depend on your good guardianship, you start to get more involved and attuned to country living.  Well, we did.  I really can’t speak for others.

In my attempts to photograph the county fair in ways that differ from previous years, I’ve found myself focusing on different aspects each year.

If you have an eye for the little details of blogging, you will have noticed that two of the categories I picked for this post are “food” and “harvest.”  That is part of the purpose of the county fair.  Animals are sold to be harvested (as food) or for reproduction or for the harvest of their milk as a result of the reproduction.  Auctions take place throughout the week.  While browsing through the swine area I noticed that some of the pigs were going for $1.45/lb.  The Big Pig went for $13.00/lb.

That’s some pig.

I suppose a disclaimer is in order so here goes:  I did not take these photos with the intent to pass on some sort of message.  I took them as part of my own learning process in life, healthful living, and photography.  If you find some sort of statement or message in them, that’s cool.  But that’s also your interpretation.  I’m still working on mine.  I am, as someone once said, a work in progress.

Usually when I take photos of animals I try to encompass the entire body.  Last year I started to focus on faces but quit after a few shots, deciding to try it again another time as it didn’t seem to be working out.

The cows, both dairy and beef, don’t seem to be the Happy Cows as advertised on television (perhaps because they are not living in California where, it seems, all of the happy creatures live).  But it could be they would prefer to be on the farm and not at the fair getting gawked at by crowds of people.

Sometimes they gawk back.

The girls (my granddaughters) enjoyed looking at and petting the animals.  Miss Madison Grace in particular got very excited over some of the sheep and pigs.  She showed no fear when it came to reaching out and touching the animals, no matter how big they were.

The Scottish Highland cattle are my favorites, in part because Scotland has been (so far) one of my favorite countries to visit.  I like their long hair, long horns, and their long and beautiful eyelashes.  I like that they remind me of seeing them in the Highlands of Scotland, grazing amongst all that rugged beauty.  Right above them (at the fair)  there is a sign which states “Freezer Beef.”  I’ve taken pictures of the calves — usually stationed below the sign — in previous years.

It is, to me, an enlightening experience to look into the eyes of the animals I photographed on this visit to the fair.  Not that I haven’t looked before.  It was different this time although I still can’t pinpoint the how’s or why’s of it.

I’ll be back with a few more faces from the fair tomorrow.


12 Comments on “Faces from the County Fair (Part One)”

  1. I love the fairs! It just seems to promote a simpler time when life was…maybe better. Thanks for posting. Great job!

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, PF4A.

      I’m not sure it was simpler or better, but I know what you mean. Even with all the modern equipment we have these days, farming and harvesting are still a lot of work.

  2. Linda says:

    Sweet little (big) creatures all tied up and looking so lonesome (so says an animal lover) Soon they will be back roaming around and having fun again I am sure.

    Fairs are so wonderful. I always loved the livestock exhibits the best – the 4 hers do a great job.

    Wonderful pics.

  3. jenna says:

    Soon they’ll be dinner, I suspect, poor beasties.

    You going to email me some of those cow pics? Pretty please? 🙂

  4. anhinga says:

    The eyes are haunting, portals to the soul, the only thing we do not eat. I know you didn’t intend to send a message, but that’s what I get.

  5. Brian says:

    I always have trouble at fairs when looking at meat animals. Pigs know why humans raise them.

    I do like the closeup pictures better than whole body ones.

  6. I prefer to think of cows as contented animals, chewing away on their cud, happily whiling away the years in a lovely green paddock. And the blobs of meat we buy from the butcher was made by the butcher, for us to eat…I cannot bear to think of any connection between the two!

    Hopefully little Miss Maddy will continue to be fearless around animals. They will sense her love. 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Joanne: I understand that completely. It’s hard for me to think about where the meat on my table comes from.

      I think that dichotomy is part of the food problem here in the U.S. A lot of folks either don’t know or don’t want to think about where their food comes from and that allows the big feed lots to continue in business and in treating the poor animals in an inhumane ways.

      I have decided to take the attitude that if I am going to eat meat, I at least want to know how the animal was raised and taken care of as well as give thanks to it for giving up its life so I can nourish my body.

      I hope Miss Maddy continues that way, too. 😀


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