Thursday, June 16, 2011

Estes Park Wool Market, 2011

I highly recommend Estes Park Wool Market. This year was my first time to attend. Although I live within easy driving distance of Estes Park, I hadn't been interested in attending until this year. Most years, the date of the Market wasn't convenient. There's so much going on in Colorado in the summer. A lot of events conflict. However, the timing worked this year. I'm very glad it did.

The fairgrounds is a great facility with several stock barns. Still, there wasn't quite enough room. There were so many animals that large tents were set up to hold the overflow.

There were lots of sheep, of course, all kinds. I'm sorry that I'm not better acquainted with sheep breeds. I can't identify these two, except to say that they were the the only ones who were cooperative in posing. Most of them either crushed to the back of the pen or stuck their nose in the lens when they saw the camera.

I did have a wonderful encounter with a small black ewe. She came up to me and closed her eyes in bliss when I scratched her cheek. After a bit, I noticed that whenever I scratched, she would switch her tail rapidly back and forth. Hilarious!

I left the sheep and moved on to the alpacas and the llamas, only to find they didn't much care for the smell of sheep on my hands. Oh well, camelids not much for petting, but they are photogenic.

There were cute and fuzzy ones and tall and regal ones. I was so surprised that the llama in the photo below posed. He was coming toward the camera for a sniff, but when I said, "no", he stopped and posed. I'll bet he's well-behaved in the shows.

For cute and fuzzy, though, you can't beat the rabbits.

This angora bunny is certainly prettier than the wild rabbits I watched play outside my hotel room the evening before. As I admired this one in its tiny cage, I wondered, if it was let loose in a field, would it scamper around as friskily as the wild rabbits did? I would have asked the breeder, but she was thronged with enthusiastic angora lovers.

One last my attention was captured by the impressive display of ribbons. When I asked the lady who was putting the pack saddle on this llama if she minded being in the photograph, her response was to complain that the llama had lowered his ears.

I know llama and alpaca owners think their animals look better, or at least, happier, with their ears up. When I went to an alpaca ranch a couple of years ago, the rancher was displeased that all of the alpacas would lower their ears when I pointed the camera at them. It was my recounting of that story that made the woman laugh as I took the photo above.

I didn't realize that I failed to take any photos in the vendor barn. I was just too busy shopping. There was a great selection of vendors. I'll put my purchases together and photograph them soon.

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1 comment:

Pooch said...

Glad you had good shopping! I enjoyed your pix since I missed it this year. I was in St. Louis for a wedding, but Estes did come to mind that weekend!