Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fly Snatchers

This is the last photo I  took of the barn swallow babies in the nest above my miking stool.  When I returned a couple hours later they had fledged and the nest was empty.

When they were growing up in the miking parlor, I wondered why the parents didn't catch the flies that  pestered  LaFonda and me during milking.  It only takes a few flies biting my ankles to drive me nuts, and they much prefer LaFonda to me. Without a long tail to flick them off her ankles, she has to stomp her feet to jar the flies off her legs, and that is not conducive to a smooth milking session.

The past couple days there have been many more flies than usual, oodles of flies,  in the milking parlor. I finally realized, Duh! the barn swallows WERE devouring lots of flies in there and keeping the numbers to just a few!  I have now hung sticky fly paper strips and one of those fly traps with disgustingly smelly bait to reduce the fly population.  Plus, I  am spending ten or 15 minutes swatting flies each morning before calling LaFonda in to be milked.  A fly swatter is such an ingenious, effective tool that Lafonda and I have both come to appreciate.

After milking today, when I let LaFonda back out into the pasture the entire family of beautiful barn swallows was swooping gracefully around in front of the barn door.  I suppose it is unlikely this late in the summer, but I would be delighted if they decided to raise a third clutch in the milking parlor.

1 comment:

dnintholler said...

I love this blog. I live vicariously through it. I wish I were a farmer but life has taken us down another happy path.