Wednesday, August 31, 2011

North Idaho Fair 2011

The North Idaho Fair comes to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho in late August. We have missed very few of them in the 15 years that we have lived here. Now that I think about, the only year we missed was the summer I had our daughter in 2002.

Before Emma came into our lives, I was very big on entering canned items every year. I even won the Ball Canning Pickling Award twice. When Emma joined 4-H four years ago, she started entering her insect collections as a Cloverbud which is a non-competitive 4-H group for kids 5 to 7 years old.

This year was Emma's first year has a full fledged 4-H kid. Her projects were Entomology and Poultry. Once we found out that we had to come twice a day for the five days of the Fair to feed her chicken and its cage, we decided to have some fun and enter some things other than her two 4-H entries. Heck, maybe even win a little cash to help cover the gas on two twenty mile plus trips we had to make daily.
Emma entered a frame of honey comb from her beehive and a dozen large eggs from our Marans flock. Both went second place which made her very happy to say the least. The judge said the comb would have placed better if it did not contain two colors of honey: light on the edges and dark in the center.

I entered 9 canned items and did really well in Salsa divisions, both green and red by getting a second place ribbon for my salsa verde and tomato salsa. My sweet pickle relish also got a second and 3 of my jam entries placed in third. I was happy :)
Now Emma's 4-H Entomology Project did really well by going Grand Champion. She was so proud and cannot wait to participate in the project again next year.
Here's Emma showing her little Belgian bearded d'uccle pullet named "Pengu". In quality judging the little bird was awarded a blue ribbon and Emma took a fourth in Junior Fitting and Handling.
We are all looking forward to attending and participating in the Fair next year. We'll probably even enter more things, too and stay in the 4-H Camper Village so we don't have to drive back and forth so much.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Nature Never Ceases to Amaze

I was topping off the cattle troth Saturday evening and I just happened to look down and see this beautiful little nest that must have blown out of one of the big grand firs in our yard. What a thing of beauty it was! I had to run in and grab my camera so I could take a picture of it before the sun slipped behind the hills.
Look at all the materials this little bird collected to build this nest: moss, horse hair, sticks, grass and even a few chicken feathers, too. Nature is simply one continuous ongoing miracle that never ceases to amaze and inspire me.