Saturday, September 07, 2013

Paul Bunyan and Babe, the Blue Ox

The best building at the Minnesota State Fair is the Fine Arts building that displays hundreds of juried paintings, photographs, and sculptures of Minnesota artists.  It's the first building that I visit, and I suspect is the real reason why I go to this annual event. Each year an artist (often with a sense of humor) contributes an interpretation of a Minnesota icon or legendary figure.  I was amused by this acrylic painting on canvas that depicts the folklore.

Paul Bunyan, the mythical king of lumberjacks, lives on in Bemidji! 
The greatest outdoorsman who ever lived was Paul Bunyan and the tall stories invented by fisherman and hunters to this day can never equal the 'truth' to Paul's exploits in the north woods.
This legendary superman and woodsman, hero of the early logging days, was born in Bemidji, Minnesota.  The actual site of his birth is marked today by giant statues of both Paul Bunyan and his Blue Ox, Babe, standing on the shoreline of Lake Bemidji.
Old-time loggers recall the excitement of Paul's birth when it took five giant storks, working in relays, to deliver Paul to his parents.  And what a baby Paul was; his lungs were so strong that he could empty a whole pond full of frogs with one holler when he was hungry.  It took a whole herd of cows to keep his milk bottle filled and he could eat forty bowls of porridge just to whet his appetite.

To read the entire exciting tale of these two, go here.
Linking to Camera Critters.


  1. Wonderful tales and humor come from the exploits of Paul Bunyon and Babe. Stretches one's imagination!

  2. Huge statue here in Bangor ME.

  3. That's quite a tale Kate, that Paul Bunyan had quite an appetite :))

  4. i always liked tales of him. :)

  5. It is understandable that you go to the State Fair for the fine art, and not for the food or the rides?

    Of course the people in Maine would say that Paul Bunyon and Babe are from Maine, not Minnesota.

    You and Stefan each have posts today with the word "Babe" in the title. But that is the only similarity.

  6. Wonderful job on that painting. At least you go to the state fair. I don't recall ours having any art displays.

    1. Sharon, I've meant to look this up. Now I know why it's such a big deal here. I found this info on Wiki, and it's probably more than you care to know:

      The Minnesota State Fair is the state fair of the U.S. state of Minnesota. Its slogan is "The Great Minnesota Get-Together." It is the largest state fair in the United States by average daily attendance.[1] It is also the 2nd largest state fair in the United States[2] by total attendance, trailing only the State Fair of Texas, which generally runs twice as long as the Minnesota State Fair.[3] The state fairgrounds, adjoining the Saint Paul campus of the University of Minnesota, are in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, midway between the state's capital city of St. Paul and its largest city, Minneapolis, near the Como Park and Saint Anthony Park neighborhoods of Saint Paul. Residents of the state and region come to the fair to be entertained, exhibit their best livestock, show off their abilities in a variety of fields including art and cooking, learn about new products and services, and enjoy many different types of food—often on a stick. The fair runs for twelve days from late August into early September, ending on Labor Day. In 2009, attendance was 1,790,497, equivalent to about 34% of the state's population. That was up almost 100,000 from the previous year. In 2010, however, total attendance dipped by 14,000 to 1,776,211 despite setting daily attendance records on three days.[4]

  7. Nicely done - the piece looks like folk art. (By the way - I didn't mention I like your rodeo shots!)

    Potato leek soup: I use the Joy of Cooking recipe, more or less. Cook until tender 8 lg. leeks, thinly sliced (white part only) in butter or olive oil until tender but not brown. Stir in 4-5 med. potatoes (I use Yukon gold, unpeeled; JoC calls for baking, peeled) thinly sliced, and 5 cups of chicken or vegetable stock or water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are soft. Puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add additional stock or water to thin if necessary. Enjoy!

  8. Some mornings the eyes looking back at me in the mirror look this way :( Nice folk art.

    I like your new profile pic :)

  9. Nice painting. Very graphic looking.

  10. This is not my favorite painting. I guess I like 'em more realistic.

  11. I remember reading about Paul Bunyon...way back when. ;)


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