Showing posts from June, 2009

The sporting life

A fine morning for a bit of a horse ride in the country side.
Shrue takes hold of the reins during a change in riders.
A rider who is rapidly learning her way around horses.
Following the equestrian activities, ping-pong. Turns out that hay bales do not make a good, level surface for a ping-pong table.
Next to the hay bale mounted ping-pong table, a combination badminton and volleyball at a height determined not by regulation but rather by the placements of branches on the old oak tree.

Yesterday evening while some of the group rode bicycles into Argyle, I jogged a 12.1 km loop into Argyle in 1:18:30. I followed the cyclers into Argyle on Valley Road, meeting up with them near Rossing's store. I then ran up to the water tower and did a single "lap" around the base of the water tower. I went home via state route 78, a road too dangerous for the cyclists which included children.
Such is the sporting life in summer in Argyle - equestrian events, team sports, and aerobic exercise…

Sunday auctions and dinner out

The view from Yellowstone Lutheran Church is spectacular. The church sits on a high bluff west of the Pecatonica river.
The group, in a mix of clothing reflective of the new environment in which the family finds itself, stands for a photo after church.
Later in the day we all went to a large auction in Argyle. Auctions are, for me, sad affairs. All the prized possessions of a life time laid out in the sun and sold off, bit by bit, to the highest bidder. So many memories, some with the energy of emotion attached, scattered to the winds. Still, you really cannot take it with you, and auctions are the ultimate reminder of this.
Kenny attends every auction in the area. A regular with a keen eye, he bids on select items only.
Sunday evening dinner was at the Suisse Haus in Monroe, Wisconsin. They have excellent food, especially their pizzas. Among the many pizzas, the Suisse Haus pizza was phenomenal.

The whole gang ate on the outdoor patio - surely much to the relief of the management and othe…

Argyle 70th Annual Fish Fry

At the 70th annual Argyle fish fry saw strong attendance. The dairy queens passed out free samples of cheese.
A sampling from Klondike Cheese Factory. There were cheeses from many local, small scale manufacturers of cheese.
Two more dairy queens.
The fire station truck bay is emptied to provide room for the frying of fish.
Under the big top young and old enjoy fried fish, although the story of rural Wisconsin and declining school enrollment is that there are more old than young in these areas.
A lily can still distract me from gorging myself on "unlimited seconds" of fresh fish fillets.
After the fish fry the cousins, literally, went to shoot some hoops at the local school yard. Note the background: not a typical urban environment.

Duck race in Argyle

After a morning pruning along the pasture perimeter, the crew of fifteen headed to the duck races in Argyle. Duck races are supported by a veritable industry of duck suppliers and professional duck race support companies.
The duck races are held along the mighty Pecatonica river. Even the bridge in Argyle warrants a historic marker.
A crowd gathered for the duck race.
Including relatives from afar.
My crowd opted to coordinate their fashion accessories by choosing to all wear bandanas. Mind you, Wisconsin is strictly baseball cap country.
With each one of us with a stake in a single duck, the race was off. Over 900 ducks hit the river. At a five dollar donation per duck, public community services in Argyle obtains significant funding from the duck race.
The race was hotly contested, as breakaway groups from the peloton would pull away, only to be chased down by the peloton and eventually reeled back in.
Duck number 670 stopped to check out the gathered crowd. Ole' 670 was not a winner to…

More visitors

The Argyle grist mill and later briefly (circa 1926 - 1933) a hydroelectric station.
A visit to Maple Leaf Cheese and Chocolate Haus in New Glarus.
While the kids swam at the New Glarus municipal pool under the watchful eye of my wife, a visitor and I slipped away for a brief visit to New Glarus Brewing Company. The self-guided tour of the new facility was surprisingly open - we wandered from brewing to bottling, getting a chance to marvel at the technology that even a small brewery must deploy to make beers.
While one wing of the extended family was in New Glarus, another wing was inner tubing on the mighty Pecatonica river. After a leisurely drift in the river under the sun, an afternoon nap is inevitable.

Hard parts and lift arm pins

Hard parts are good to find, especially ag hard parts. All the good stuff is at Blain's Farm & Fleet.

And when you've lost a nut off your lift arm pin, causing the bolt to get all chewed up, there is a full selection of pretty golden hued shiny lift arm pins with nuts and lock washers at dirt cheap prices.
After sweating in the sun, the Blanchardville swimming pool is the place to go!
Almost poetically pretty.
"Elverum Lodge No. 338, Sons of Norway, was organized in the Village of
Blanchardville in the year of 1927. It was an active organization during its
existence and had a large membership. It sponsored 17th of May programs
including parades in Norse costumes." - A History Of Blanchardsville, Gem Of The Pecatonica
The plaque on the log cabin notes its construction in 1933 by the Sons of Norway, Elverum Lodge 338.

New arrivals

Today brought the second load of arrivals to the farm for the summer family reunion fest. The first order of business was for the dogs to get to know each other.
Meanwhile my eldest spent her first day at a four day trail riding horse camp. Eight hours a day of horses and horse riding. She reported that she rode four different horses during the day. Other reports filtering back were that she posted well, had a good seat, and trotted nicely. Every field has its language.
The boys are back and summer has begun.
Cousins all.

Enjoying dinner served on the veranda. Note the diligent use of knife and fork on the far side. Definitely an experience for everyone.

Jumble Gym

Welcome to the jumble gym, as in jumble of gymnosperm trunks. I added a new section to the perimeter trail run loop. The new section is roughly in the same place as a section I had used at the south end of teal in 2004. A storm a couple years ago took down a dozen trees in the valley and I had not yet tried to open the lost section until today.

The section begins with real simple stuff - a single log laying in the trail.
A double set of logs in the trail.
Further down are single aerial tree trunks.
An aerial triple set of tree trunks that one has to clamber over. Primates only at this point, no equine passage here!
Looking back from the top of the triple one can see the single aerial tree trunks.
The jumble of gymosperms, and angiosperms, ends with a steep uphill climb to the horse arena.

A run of the 2.8 km loop with the new section took about 23 minutes.


Not a rocket, just the view over the front of the Oliver as I cut the grass with the mower attachment behind the tractor. Heading south along 78 towards Argyle north of the prairie. I snuck in a session of mowing between the road trip and the rocket launching - a very full day!
A mosquito, lost on first flight, ready to go, the builder stands proudly by.
The Manta on the launch pad. The Manta was recovered on an A8-3 launch, dropped into the forest but was recovered from a low tree on a C6-5, and then completely lost on the next C6-5 launch.
Three, two, one,...
... ignition...
...and launch of the Manta.