SAFF stands for the Southeastern Fiber Fair. It’s an annual event held at the WNC Ag Center south of Asheville and I was so pleased that we were able to attend! I am a great animal lover, and I’m particularly fond of the very furry kind. I was a spinner for many, many years and I worked on a sheep farm for a famous spinner for several years as well. So, the first thing Peter and I did when we arrived was to check out the animal barns and judging arena.
This beauty is a prize-winning Shetland ewe. Don’t you just love her huge fuzzy body and tiny little legs? I asked if I could touch her and my hand went in about 4 inches. Her owner said she would be shorn in March; I wonder how long her fluffy she will be by then!
At some point we became fascinated by the amazing horns on display. The sheep farm where I worked cut the horns off as the males were forever fighting and nasty wounds can happen as a result. I can’t tell you what breed of sheep this guy is but what lovely colored wool he has and – amazing horns.
I had no idea that sheep grew multiple horns! Most of the sheep on display the day we were what I would call exotic and I don’t recall the breed. This spotty group had horns growing every which way.
I think this man had the biggest horns. He looks like he should be in a rodeo, terrorizing the cowboys! They look heavy, don’t they?
The next few pictures are of Angora goats. Even unwashed and tousled as he is, his fleece is just gorgeous! Look at the luster….
And this pair….. I know that sheep are easily upset and a show like this would be traumatizing. They become very docile and easy to handle. These goat pals (or siblings?) are taking comfort in each other.
In another barn we came across the llamas. Doesn’t this pair just make you smile? They make funny little noises to each other and you can’t help but wonder what they are saying. Perhaps they were thinking we were a funny pair as well!
And here’s a multi award-winning llama. What a great face! The alpacas and llamas always look very interested and thoughtful.
Just one more llama with her lovely, long neck having a bit of lunch. One of the owners was talking about why many of the animals were shaved in funny patterns. He said they shaved the body area in a barrel shape several times a year and then they would “shave them nekked” ! Good to know…
And I will end with an amazing Angora rabbit! The picture isn’t very clear – I think because of all their fuzziness the camera did not quite know where to focus. Lunch is sitting in front of him. It looked like hay and other goodies rolled up and inserted into that tube, like a burrito. All the rabbits were sitting protectively over their treats. I did want to touch him, but rabbits bite and there guys were very scared and unhappy in their cages.