October is historically the driest month in the year for us, and this year, the extended dry spell has been a blessing. Almost all of the ground in my animals' paddocks is now above water; there are only few puddles of standing water visible. I'm not sure how much may still be in the wooded areas, though. The mosquito situation is horrendous; I just heard the bug truck go through the neighborhood, and I know Vector Control has been trying to get away from spraying for years (preferring to go with the mosquito fish and BTI to deal with the little bloodsuckers before they get airborne). Normally, the bug trucks make their rounds after dark, when the air is relatively still and the bugs most active; if there's a truck going around spraying in the middle of the morning, they must be running it pretty much 24/7! We got about half an inch of rain yesterday, not too bad. We'll probably get a bit more before this system gets out of here; the less the better, as far as I'm concerned. The Cape Fear Fair and Expo opens this weekend for a 10-day run. Like a lot of the smaller fairs, they struggle a bit every year; I've been volunteering with them for quite a few now. The "fairgrounds" got sold by the county long ago; the fair is set up at the county airport, and the area doesn't drain very well. Skirting puddles on the midway is one thing, but when the whole thing is a quagmire, it gets nasty. We've had years when a small river ran through the animal tent during a downpour, and even times when some of the stalls wound up underwater for days. The company that owns the rides is based in a small town near here, and our fair is their last stop of the year. For the last few years, they have come here right after doing the North Carolina State Fair - obviously, we can't compete with that, so our fair is deliberately scheduled so it doesn't have to. At this time of year, the weather may be hot, cold, a little of both; no telling! Things will be rather quiet in the animal tent this year - North Carolina has a prohibition on anything that would put birds and people in close proximity in any sort of numbers due to the bird flu concern. So, no poultry of any kind will be exhibited, and they were easily half of the animals entered. Some of my rabbits will be going, and my minis - Betsy my mini mule has been there for so many years, it would hardly seem like a fair without her! Though after this year, she may not be speaking to me for a while . . . . Y'see, we've had a Halloween Costume Contest in the animal tent for many years. I couldn't get my kids interested in it until last year. Well, this year, BB2K and I are entering the minis, and I've been working on their costumes. Not hugely creative, I'm afraid - we're going with a "My Little Pony" theme. Blondie will be Fluttershy (the pink hair dye is supposed to be temporary; if it doesn't come out easily, she may have a pink mane and tail for quite a while), Syd will be Twilight (I am not going to even think about dyeing the whole animal purple; though we are going to attempt the pink and purple streaks in her mane and tail), and Betsy . . . . Betsy will be Spike, Twilight's dragon assistant. In a way, she gets off easy - no dye job, just a blanket (she's worn blankets many times) and a headpiece. If she'd worn a flymask before, it would be easier . . . . This could get interesting.