Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Fryeburg Fair


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

43° on the mountain this morning, still windless but the air has a heavy feel that suggests it's colder than the temperature reading. Humidity is about maxed out from last Friday's storm and we have a couple-three more days of unsettled weather coming before things clear for the weekend. Karl the Wonder Dog wants no part of today as he sleeps on with dog dreams despite my beckoning for a walk.

Gardeners like Gail and me work hard all summer and then as things begin to close down we do a few things to get out of Dodge and spend some time together with Alex. Yesterday it was the Fryeburg Fair in Fryeburg, Maine. This is a large New England fair held on 126 acres as I remember. It was first held in 1854 and has grown over time to a week long event.

Might seem odd to go to a fair to just see animals and flower arrangements and vegetables but we do. Alex and his autism make watching his interaction with animals like a line from Temple Grandin's movie or books. (try website and go from there if not familiar). Alex can talk with animals and some of it is clearly not audible speech that makes the connections. His favorite are the pigs but he can tell a chicken to hold his head up or quiet a goat or a calf with some sensory cue that I don't understand.

We left here at 9, stopped at Marty's in Danville for a danish and cup of GMCR coffee, and then stopped at Dismal Pool, Crawford Notch, NH for a few quick pictures and then at Willey House to feed the ducks and trout and head for Maine. Fryeburg during fair time is a line of traffic. Everyone along the road sells parking space for $5 a pop until you get closer to the main gate and then the price goes up. We slid into a place we knew we could get out of and walked for 3-4 minutes to the gate.

Haven't been to this fair for 4-5 years and recalled that last time we never made it through half the things we wanted to see. We got reoriented and headed for the animal barns first. I don't know how it happened but we stopped long enough to see a crowd of people and although we wanted the goat judging, we found the skillet throwing contest. How 5-6-700 people could be enamored by people throwing iron skillets is beyond me but the crowd roared with happiness as the coordinator called out the names of contestants who stepped up and let the skillet fly. I guess I shouldn't over react as in places, Maine beaches have become wall to wall bocce ball games.

We made our way through lots of barns an along the way watched this woman coax her ox out for a bath. This 3160 pounder must have smelled the three bottles of Pert shampoo the lady carried as he had no interest in a bath and it took a few words of encouragement to get him moving. Gail and Alex and I snuggled up to a couple Red Holsteins across the way as there wasn't much space left when this bruiser stepped into the central corridor. We weren't the only ones flying when he lifted his tail.

Alex has a time limit on events with noise and other sensory interactions so we headed out again before we saw everything. Never saw the goat judging or got to the flower show but did have an interesting demonstration from a Mainer who taught Christmas wreath making. Gail and I have been doing this for years but in just minutes the woman showed us little tricks that make the whole thing go so much faster. I asked her what the going price is now for a decorated wreath and she said most makers sell for $27 plus shipping. Nice lady, talented, cordial, and a great representative for how they do things in Maine.

This fair continues until October 10th so if you are out and about, give it a try. It's 90 miles from Marshfield and there's lots of scenery along the way. I will put a bunch of pictures on my
George Africa Facebook page today sometime today.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where the temperature doesn't budge but Canada geese call out from above.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
On Facebook as George Africa; also as Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens
On Twitter as vtflowerfarm

1 comment:

James Trundy said...

Any Poultry? I am sure there must be. We have missed fairs for TOO many years! 2011 must be the year we bring them back in to our lives. Sounds like a great day!