Fairly unbalanced

Here it is, my report on this year’s visit to the Oregon State Fair.

We arrived in the late afternoon but you may notice that most of the images here were taken after dark. That is because, for quite a while, I forgot to set the Way Too Complicated Camera to automatic, so the earlier images were all macro closeups of a tooth or a polar bear in snowstorm. Eventually I noticed the mistake and flipped the little setting switch, just in time to capture this mad rabbit.

just another mad rabbit

There were a lot of rabbits, most of them unhappy about various things, wishing they were back home in the garden or at least in better accommodations.

homesick bunnies

The rabbits are actually housed in a place called the Poultry Building (maybe that’s one of the things that has them piqued).  There weren’t many birds on the inside but on the outside of the building there are these fabulous busts of chickens.

chicken building

I think they would look well as figureheads on the bows of ships with a cargo of maybe eggs or feather-filled duvets or stacks of quiches.

The sun was getting low by the time we left the mad rabbits. From there we went to the livestock barn to visit the cows and sheep and pigs. I want to report that they all have eyelashes and look back at you and make you think that becoming vegetarian is the natural progression of civilization.


This year in the horse arena it was the draft horse competition, where different teams of horses pull wagons through various maneuvers and are judged and given ribbons.

I like the shaggy hooves, like hobbit feet.

Clydesdale team

The horses seemed to be having a good time, all dressed up and winning stuff, or maybe as soon as it’s all over they get candied apples, who knows?

Clydesdale team

In the meantime the night had truly arrived.

fair ride

There were all kinds of people having fun on the midway.

midwayOf course I took a moment to determine if giant stuffed bananas were still the coin of the realm in the world of carnival prizes. To my astonishment the banana market had blossomed into at least three sizes, had taken on new fashion details and had somehow recruited red peppers into the lifestyle.

large fruit and vegetable carnival prizesAbout the same time I noticed Oregon State Police guys on bikes patrolling the fairgrounds. They talked and laughed with the kids on the midway.

police at the fairThe giant fruits and vegetables might have had too much coffee.

huge plush banana and pepperThere was of course lots of expensive but not-so-great Fair Food.

corn dog boothFortunately I didn’t need to buy a corn dog– I had beer and a sandwich instead. Which for some reason reminds me to post this image of a Clematis montana, which I grew from a tiny little cutting.

Clematis montana grown from cutting

Fall is coming. Soon it will be Halloween and time to carve….vegetables. I just hope you enjoyed the Blue Moon of August.Blue Moon over the Fair


About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
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25 Responses to Fairly unbalanced

  1. kininvie says:

    Hey, I made it to a tag of my very own! I still think those mice were agents provocateurs though…. That’s a pretty good clematis Linnie, and well worth a carved neep. My only question is why the banana is rooting for CND?

    • linniew says:

      Hi Kininvie
      Yes that tag was just for you. I wonder what the search engines will think about it.

      One really must take responsibility for one’s poor decisions in regard to wagers and not try to blame poor innocent mice. And as for the banana, that’s still a ‘peace’ sign here although maybe the banana IS anti-nuclear too, difficult to say.

      p.s. Please be sure to buy your Halloween neep early before they are all sold out.

  2. Susan says:

    State fairs are so much fun, although we call them county fairs in my neck of the woods.
    I tried to like your post but the little box was misbehaving.

    • linniew says:

      Our counties have fairs too, earlier in the summer. Where there are large cities like Portland and Eugene the county fairs are as big an event as the state fair.

      Thanks for trying to like the post Susan. So often the online paths are blocked in some unfathomable fashion. The other day I opened my blog to find it set in a whole new WordPress theme. It took me two tries to get it back where it belonged.

  3. b-a-g says:

    Those horses look like they’ve escaped from the pearly kings and queens of cockney London. We wont take credit for the bananas and peppers though.

  4. I love the hen busts and thank you for posting them. The best corn dog I ever had was at a county affair in WI. Any time I see ferris wheel photos it reminds me of that corn dog.

  5. Alistair says:

    Hi Linnie, seems like you had a fair lot of fun. That Tillie gets everywhere doesn’t she, suddenly struck me that she may be John Mcenroes granny. Beer, sandwich and Cematis Montana — I get it, not!! Congratulations on growing it from seed, I reckon it will completely cover your fence in two years time.

    • linniew says:

      Just recall, Alistair, my wager with Kininvie: If my clematis cuttings died I had to eat a Fair corn dog, but if the cuttings grew then he had to carve a Halloween neep. –I do so look forward to the carved neep!

      Also you are right about that particular clematis, it’s a rampant grower which is probably why it didn’t fail as a cutting. (I did also have some large-flowered ones survive, they just weren’t as dramatic looking yet.)

  6. Midways look the same where ever you go it seems. Love the rabbit. Carolyn

    • linniew says:

      Except for the giant vegetables maybe. Or do you suppose they are coast-to-coast?

      • linniew says:

        Hi Kat, and welcome~
        I read that the Minnesota State Fair can have over a million people show up– In Oregon the total attendance over 11 days is more like 200,000 –with less funding every year for the event. I guess I won’t expect great culinary diversity to appear any time soon, but I’m glad it’s there for Minnesotans!

  7. Not-so-great Fair food? Come on over to Minnesota’s State Fair and we’ll show you how Fair food is done! (didn’t get to the Caprese-salad-on-a-stick this year, though . . . )

  8. cynthia says:

    City slickers might get confused upon walking into the poultry house at your fair. Maybe they’ve been poking those rabbits trying to get them to crow. That would certainly make a rabbit mad.

    • linniew says:

      The depth and source of Rabbit Anger is a great mystery Cynthia. I fear it is deep. I read a treatise once, titled “Furry But Voiceless.” It was a thought-provoking discussion of how rabbits don’t have a notable call, so when you come to the bunny images in the picture book there is no moo or quack sound, just a deep and resentful silence. I believe it is the contrast between a rabbit’s vast cuteness and his equally vast anger that has fascinated mankind for so long, not to mention that whole chocolate egg thing in the spring.

      • kininvie says:

        That’s really deep Linnie….I’m impressed. Do you know why rabbits are lumped in with poultry? It’s the fault of the French, as it happens.

        • linniew says:

          Really? Oh Kininvie, I had no idea that the Fair management was French

          Oh but as I consider your comment further I expect that isn’t what you meant at all. Of course I am clueless and I’ll just hope you offer an explanation, assuming you weren’t making up the entire issue.

  9. greg says:

    A real carni–copia…he he.

  10. Grace says:

    Gosh, I was hoping to see photos of Joe Walsh. We thought about going but I just don’t do crowds and noise very well. Besides, I was worried about running in to Tillie. She’s still mad about, what was it? The shovel incident I think.

    • linniew says:

      Yes Gracie, Tillie is still quite upset. She talks incessantly about the shovel incident but she is so random and so often tipsy that I can’t make any sense of it. You are wise to avoid her although I may send her to you for a brief visit, just a week or two–no big problem–but maybe hide the shovel.

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