Pictured: Michelle Foster worked on Monday afternoon to set up not only her own picture, but the craft and food projects her fellow Orange Grove students created for this year's Jim Wells County Fair. Photo by MAURICIO JULIAN CUELLAR JR.

Baked goods, photographs, crafts arrive for judging|

Fair entries turned in, set up Monday afternoon, evening

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

Orange Grove High School senior Michelle Foster has an eye for color and detail, which led her to use her talents in the photography division of the Jim Wells County Fair Home Economics competition.

Foster says photography isn't really a hobby, just something she does for fun.

"It's the easiest to do, and I'm not too good at baking," Foster said.

This year her entry is a photograph of the mountains off of Lake Tahoe, taken during her last vacation in California. The mountain rocks are offset by the choppy water off of the lake, which created a striking contrast to the eye.

Foster has participated in photography for three years, and has been rewarded for her efforts in the past. This year she'll face some strong competition, especially from her younger sister, Jackie Foster, who photographed her own nature scene for the contest.

"If I see something I like, I just take a picture of it," the older Foster said. "We just both enjoy taking pictures, but I think hers is better."

Foster was among many of the contestants submitting their entries Monday night in the home economics division.

Alice resident Loretta Trejo brought in a big haul to the Home Economics Competition Monday afternoon, too.

Trejo went all out with 62 projects - everything from crafts and decorations to baked goods and centerpieces. It was the first year for both Trejo and her son, Erasmo Aguilar, who at nine is showing his first animal at the fair.

Erasmo, a third-grade students at Saenz Elementary said not many students from his school participate in the fair, but thanks to his godmother, Nora Contreras, Erasmo was able to raise a lamb this summer out on her property, which he calls "The Farm."

"Ever since he was a small child, he's always asked to go to the farm," Contreras said.

Erasmo said he didn't like his lamb at first, because he jumped all over the place, but eventually "Wild Thing," as he is called, settled down, and Erasmo is happy with the results.

His mother, though, spent a hectic afternoon checking in with her projects, luckily she had help from Contreras, who is Loretta's aunt and a volunteer at the fair.

"She encouraged me to give it a try this year," Trejo said. "And, I did it all. There's just so much to do."

Her father, Raul Trejo, helped place items on the table and showed off his daughter's pictures.

"Do you see this," he said. "Recognize this?"

The pictures, both in color and black and white, showed a cow and a windmill in a front yard. After a few moments, a smile came over his face. "In Agua Dulce, you've seen it."

The picture was of a colorful yard display that commuters heading up Highway 44 from Alice see often while driving through Agua Dulce.

Trejo said she was most proud of her hay bale centerpiece, which is entered in the crafts division. The fall/Thanksgiving theme piece looked both colorful and complicated, but Trejo said it was actually one of the easiest projects.

"The hay, oh man, it was a mess all over the house," Trejo said, smiling with pride. If she were placing bets on her numerous projects, she said, "It's the hay bale to win."