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.