Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sneaky salamander

Last night, just before we started milking, Glen went to round up the kids and bring them back to the barn. When he found Dan, Glen asked his usual question: "What have you been up to?"

Dan's reply caught him a little off guard.

"I put a dead salamander in the fridge," Dan said. (Thankfully, he was talking about the small, dorm-style fridge we have in the barn, not the fridge in the house!)

"Come look, Dad," he said next.

Glen said he only half-believed Dan, so he followed him to the barn office to confirm the story. When Dan opened the fridge door, there wasn't a salamander there. Glen was starting to think maybe Dan's imagination had run away with him again, until he saw the look of pure shock on Dan's face.

"Where did it go?" Dan asked.

It didn't take them long to find it.

Right after Dan asked the question, the boxes of vaccine in the back of the fridge started moving. Soon, the salamander had crawled to the front of the fridge.

Dan snatched him up, saying, "How did that happen? I thought he was dead!"

Glen told Dan he couldn't leave the salamander in the fridge, so Dan took him back outside and put him in the grass.

When I got back to the barn to tie up cows, Glen was still chuckling about the sneaky salamander.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ride of a lifetime

I spent most of this week working with the Dairy Star at World Dairy Expo. This year's theme was Around the World in 5 Days. I feel like I've been spinning around for the past four days; this Expo was filled with projects. One of those projects gave me an opportunity to see the world from a new point of view — or at least the world around Madison.

On Wednesday, the Dairy Star had an opportunity to take aerial photos of World Dairy Expo. I was the one who got to ride along in a Cirrus SR22 while Ed Shaw of the Canadian Forage & Grassland Association took the plane for a test flight. Chad Friedrich of Cirrus Aircraft co-piloted the plane.

 Sadie Frericks

Sadie Frericks

We circled around World Dairy Expo a couple of times so I could snap a few shots and then flew up to Wisconsin Dells for a few touch-down landings. The Wisconsin countryside was breathtakingly beautiful.

Sadie Frericks

Sadie Frericks

Sadie Frericks

Sadie Frericks

It was really neat to listen to Chad and Ed speak in pilot tongue. It reminded me of dairy farmers talking to each other in farmer lingo. Since Ed was test driving the plane, he did a lot of things with the plane — like banking, stalling, and the touch-downs — that I'll probably never experience again. It was absolutely the ride of a lifetime.