Wasps

I found this paper wasp nest next to a casual trail through the grass. It’s about the size of a grapefruit. Did it blow down or was it built there? I’ve usually seen these things built off the ground in dense shrubbery. It isn’t something I’d like to accidentally step on.

Dog

The animals that visitors see at the Clallam County Fair are raised and shown by various 4H clubs. Many of the dogs we saw last Saturday competed in agility trials.

Bunny

I know the bunnies were judged on their bunniness qualities but for me it was a walk down the Cute Animal isle.

Piglets

Mama swine had a passel of suckling piglets. While we visited her, 4H members who had raised pigs were moving them through their paces at an auction nearby. Many 4H livestock projects culminate at auctions at the fair. The animals they raise are auctioned and the “project” quickly becomes a commodity.

Rooster

This rooster had just finished a “cock-a-doodle-doo” serenade.

Calf

The cattle are really groomed for showing.

Kid and kid

It can probably be argued that a county fair is a holdover from the days when agriculture was front and center in most communities across the U.S. and the business of agriculture — showing prized animals, stock auctions — was a community focal point. That’s less the case in many regions today, but the fair still has value. We need to remember — and children need to learn — where our food and fiber comes from. And maybe it’s because I’m an animal lover, but I believe that humans have a natural affinity for animals. Fairs give some of us a fleeting chance to touch skin to fur and feathers and see animals that aren’t part of our daily lives.

Bunny people

People line up to touch. They ooh and aah over softness or texture, snuggle where they can.

Calf boy

Children have a chance to see and learn, often with babies that are just the right size, without the typical “don’t touch!” warnings.

Goat bliss

And the interaction goes both ways.