Racing pigeons on show at Cochise County Fair, Arizona (4th November 2008)

Racing Pigeon from Cochise County Fair Racing Pigeon from Cochise County Fair Racing Pigeon from Cochise County Fair

I was on holiday in Arizona in September and spotted these racers in the �Fur & Feather� tent at the Cochise County Fair. We arrived just as the sun was beginning to go down but it was still around 90 degrees. The animals and birds seem used to the extreme conditions and appeared quite comforatble in their shady spot. There were no names of owners on the pens but if anyone from Arizona happens to log on to this site and knows who they belong to we can give them a mention.

The Fair is a bit like our own agricultural shows here in the UK. Cattle, horses and sheep are shown in the ring, arts and crafts, from the equivalent of our WRI are exhibited and lots of stalls sell everything from ornately decorated saddles to Mexican food.

The Rodeo in the evening was nerve wracking just to watch! There was an inter college competition and teams of students compete against eachother in bull riding, calf roping and on bucking broncos. These are the only colleges I�ve ever come across that seem to actively set out to kill their pupils! The kids of Cochise County are made of tough stuff � they were thrown through the air, trampled, kicked, squashed and on at least one occasion, sat on by their horse. Around one in four of the students seemed to be girls that were every bit as fit as the boys (In every sense of the word).

runaway horse at Cochise County Fair Rodeo

One horse broke out of the ring altogether and ran amok for a while in the car park before being skillfully rounded up by riders who surrounded it with their own horses to calm it down before lasooing it.

The fair had a real family day out feel to it with a fun fair in full swing for the children and the obligatory beer tent for the adults. There was the usual assortment of teenagers romancing around and no shortage of entertainment from the stage where comedians, rock bands and magicians performed. I have to say it was one of the highlights of the trip for me, that and riding on the Roller Coaster on top of the �New York New York� Hotel in Las Vegas, believe me, when you�ve been on that, you know what it must feel like to be thrown off a bull at a rodeo, my husband�s bad back is testament to that!

Linda Brooks, SHU Secretary

Arizona dessert

From the top of this mountain near Sierra Vista you can look out over the Arizona dessert on this side and into Mexico on the other. The rainy season had just ended, usually there is no green here at all, just dirt and dust.

Mountain near Sierra Vista

We were close to the Mexican border which we could see from the house and around 30 miles from Tombstone. This shows our friend Shirley with her ‘snake dogs’, Coda and Honeybunch. She has them to help spot snakes around the house (and there are some pretty big rattlers) and to guard against intruders, though anyone would have to be pretty keen to crawl through the dessert heat to get there! The Chow and the Huskey don’t seem phased by the dessert heat despite their thick coats.