Showing up


Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent Venetia, who is hanging around in Brazil focussing on jaguars.  She made a very good job of focussing her camera on this one.

JaguarWe were focussed on the Eskdale Agricultural Show, commonly known as the Cattle Show, for most of the day today.  I started off by cycling up to the field with Sandy’s and my entries for the photographic classes.

Things both great and small had already started on the show field with ponies being led out to be shown to critical judges and shiny new tractors parked to be shown off to prospective purchasers.

pony and tractorsThen I cycled home again and not long afterwards, cycled back with Mrs Tootlepedal do some judging of children’s classes.  There are always a lot of children’s entries and I was a bit worried about the workload ahead.  It turned out though that several judges were being employed and Mrs Tootlepedal and I had just a small section of the whole thing to do.  Across the table, our friends Bob and Nancy were judging some edible entries.

Bon and Nancy judging the cakesMrs Tootlepedal and I managed to agree on the prizewinners in our classes and we had time to look around the tent.  Experts were rating the adult baking classes and Bob and Nancy seemed to be weighing up a bit of broccoli.

judging at the showOur job done, we went for a bit of a wander around.

There were pretty  flowers in the tent and big beasts outside.

flowers and cowThere were sheep of all sorts…

sheep at the showAnd this brightly coloured one was a champion…..

champion sheep…which would be worth a bit of money if properly handled, the judge told us in a confidential aside.

There were lots of horses too.

horse and ponyThere were old hands at one end of the ground and pony club members at the other.

horse and pony clubThere were veteran cars and tractors on show.

morris minor and tractorAnd a bunch of crooks in the tent.

crooksBeing judges, we were treated to a free lunch which was very welcome and then we went home for a sit down.  The secretary had asked me whether I had returned the trophy from last year and after some discussion, we agreed that I had and that she probably had somewhere about.  All the same, I got a bit uneasy and a search through the house when I got back, uncovered the trophy lurking in a corner so I whizzed back up to the show ground with it and arrived just in time to miss the prize giving.  I was rather embarrassed.

There was still quite a bit of time before the tent closed and I could retrieve my photos so I bicycled back home once more and looked around the garden.

The poppies are very battered…

poppies…but a bit of brighter weather had brought a cloud of insects out on the sedum and Michaelmas daisies.  There was so much buzzing that I could hardly hear myself think.

sedumThe sedum was covered in bumble bees, mostly white tailed ones I think.  Mrs Tootlepedal and I counted well over forty on the flowers beside the bird feeders.

There were a few other sorts of bees about.

beesThe Michaelmas daisies were very busy too but they had more hoverflies and flies than bees.

Michaelmas Daisy with bugsThough they did have a pretty butterfly too (but only one).

butterflySome birds looked on.

great tit and robin
A glossy great tit and an untidy robin

And some birds were too busy to notice us.

chaffinchesThen I made my final visit to the field to pick up my pictures.  They hadn’t attracted much attention from the judge with a second place and a highly commended being all I had to show for my efforts.  Sandy had done better with a first in one class and lesser tickets in others..

By the time that I came out of the tent, the top of the field was deserted….

Castleholm…and only a few ropes remained as a memento of a great day’s entertainment.

Everyone was very grateful for the recent spell of good weather becuase the show had been within a whisker of being cancelled if the summer rain had continued for much longer.

I met Mike Tinker on the field with his daughter, her husband and their children clutching several prizes between them and was delighted to find out that his son-in-law Lorne is going to come round tomorrow and spike my lawn for me.  This is kindness far beyond the call of duty and I mowed the  lawn when I got home so that it will show up the spike holes well.

Amidst all the excitement of the day, I managed to find a flying bird in a sunny moment.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “Showing up

  1. I don’t envy your having to judge children’s entries. I’d have a hard time seeing the faces of the losers.
    I like that little blue car but why would anyone color a sheep orange?
    I looked at several dozen sedum plants today and thought of your garden when I didn’t find a single insect on any of them.

  2. What a marvellous variety of things to do at the Agricultural show! Ours are far less diversified, with a great emphasis on farm equipment the size of buildings and costing the equivalent of a small country’s GDP. Orange sheep and baking are far more interesting!

  3. Thank you for sending us your rain today. For the last week we have been sweltering in temperatures in the high 30s, uncharacteristic even for Brazil. Today it has only been on the high 20s, and we have been drenched in cooling very heavy showers. Back to the new norm tomorrow, our last day, and I imagine you may get your rain back, though the five-hour time difference may affect things.

  4. I love the baleful look that enormous cattle was giving you. I remember reading something about washing sheep in muddy water of the land where they are raised to give them those odd colors?

    The tractor with the lashes made me chuckle, and the curly maple (or whatever wood) of a few of those crooks was just beautiful.

  5. That’s what I would call a busy day! I too like the orange sheep and the old tractor and car, things that you don’t see everyday, at least not when sober. 😉

    Sorry that your photos didn’t do better, but there’s always next year.

  6. Exciting picture of the jaguar.
    What a busy day. Well done for doing the judging, which must be quite difficult.
    Glad your pictures got a creditable mention and that you found the trophy!

  7. As one who has done the very same as you re: the trophy (more than once, even on one occasion remembering the handing over so vividly I could describe it in detail…oh the shame!), I sympathise deeply. The show looks wonderful…could only be improved by the inclusion of a goat or two 🙂

  8. I enjoy agricultural shows but haven’t managed to get to one this year. A view of your local one was a treat. Your insect and bird photos are excellent.

  9. Can they really now start breeding sheep in yarn colors other than “natural”? That seems over the top. Great pictures all, and thanks for the jaguar treat. 🙂

  10. It’s been a while since I’ve been to an agricultural show and I’ve never seen an orange sheep! I’ve seen many different coloured browns and creams but nothing that vivid. I’m still not sure if it is a joke or not actually. 🙂 Is it actually dyed as you replied to the previous commenter? I used to spin wool on an old fashioned wheel many years ago and get a variety of coloured browns, creams and black wool to use for natural sweaters.
    What happened with the trophy is something that I do quite often. 😉

  11. We used to have a big show like this every year on the Common, but with less animals. Sadly we don’t any more. The ginger sheep is interesting.

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