Spotted: Painted Lady Butterfly

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2017 Allen County Fair, Part 2

Dancing Puppets

My family had a great time yesterday during our yearly visit to the Allen County Fair. This trip is our last bit of summer revelry before the school year begins. This year’s fair was replete with the vibrant colors and irresistible smells of food trucks:

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I believe that a carnival is no place for calorie counting, so I indulged in two abominations of nutrition, deep-fried dill pickles . . .

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. . . and deep fried cookie dough:

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Both were extremely tasty, but I preferred the pickles. The doughnut-tender coating on the cookie dough was exquisite, but the filling was too molten hot for me. The tray in which it was served couldn’t be carried about long enough at the fair to let this dessert cool for long.

The domestic competitions in cooking, quilting, and the like are a vital part of the fair. This year’s entries included a whimsical dog quilt:

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Along with hundreds of jellies and pickles:

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And this intriguing layer cake:

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I’m not sure if political booths are a conventional part of county fairs, but they are present every year at our fair:

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The difference in those two pictures reflects the reality of politics in Allen County. Republicans definitely have the majority here. Many people here vote a straight Republican ticket with little reflection and no irony, kind of like the guy who wore a Johnny Bench jersey to the fair. When I think of Johnny Bench, the first and only thing that comes to mind is that 70’s commercial he did for Preparation H that featured him sliding into home base with his rear dragging the ground.

Back to the topic of our evening at the fair . . . five hours slipped away before I stopped long enough to wonder what time it was. By eleven o’clock, the lines for carnival rides had grown thin, and the food trucks were shutting down for the night. As we walked back to our car in the dark, I suggested that we visit another county fair or two before fair season ends in late September. I hope we will discover that a fair is just as delightful when it’s wedged into the school year.

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Columbus Zoo, August 12

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Today we ventured to the Columbus Zoo. Every time I visit a zoo, I noticed that pregnant women are very well represented. What is it about zoos that attract expectant mothers? When I myself was pregnant sixteen years ago, I visited the Tacoma Zoo several times. There’s nothing quite like pregnancy to make one fall to earth and see that we very much belong to the natural world, no matter what lofty heights our minds may reach.

The crowd was very dense today. I felt lucky that I was able to linger long enough to steady my camera in front of some of the animals. I reside in a fairly small town, and I don’t know how folks from large cities grow accustomed to heavy crowds and thick traffic.

My daughter and I were hoping to see the supremely puffy Pallas cats frolicking about, but they were resting both times we visited their area today:

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This tiger was likewise occupied:

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The avian population looked as splendid as ever:

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We managed to secure a good standing place for the Cheetah Run, where we learned that cheetahs can accelerate to top speed in as little as three seconds. The cheetahs at this zoo also have a Labrador companion who tries his best to sprint like his feline friends:

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After I’d returned home and reviewed all the pictures I’d taken, I realized that I didn’t capture any good pictures of family members who joined me on this trip. In this one, a concrete feline looks like he’s planning to eat my dad’s arm:

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Wetlands Photo Walk, July 24

I capped a busy Monday with a quick walk through my neighborhood wetlands. These shots were taken within an hour of sunset, and the long light reigned as I walked past thousands of tall thistle that have begun their subtle blooming.

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Garden, July 22

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Heavy morning rain yielded to high humidity and gusting wind in the early afternoon. I didn’t see reliable sunshine until well into the evening. At this point, the star of this show is definitely my pink hibiscus. It will open its hundreds of blooms over the next month, and I will photograph many of them, hoping to see them anew each time.

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