Creek fish survive somehow in the creek. The water sinks into the copious amounts of gravel during dry times leaving isolated pools. Recent rains have started the creek flowing again.
Last spring’s floods dug out one bank around one bridge pillar. It will take many very large rocks to fill the hole and encourage a flooded creek to go under the bridge instead of around it.
In the meantime a pool surrounds the pillar. Creek fist are crowded into this pool. Some of the bleeding shiners are six inches long. All of the fish are hungry.
Minnows usually scavenge insects and insect larvae for food. Being cold blooded, they don’t need a lot of food. Lucky for them. Still, they do like to eat.
This is where the goats come into the picture. They crisscross the pastures and hills devouring whatever seems good that particular day. As they walk by, ticks leap on. In August these are mostly seed ticks (newly hatched) and the first instar ticks (seed ticks after one feeding).
I check my goats for ticks every day. Looking for these small ticks is a waste of time until they have gorged themselves. That is in the mornings.
The goats gladly follow me out the pasture gate and onto the makeshift bridge. I stop. they mill around.
In spite of being checked for ticks during milking, the goats still have ticks on them. I pull these off and drop them into the pool. The creek fish go crazy as each tries to get as many of these delectable morsels as possible.
The goats are not impressed. They get impatient and begin shoving. Each goat’s ears and nose have been gone over. So the goats now follow me down the overgrown tractor road toward the south pasture. Soon they pass me by.
I turn back collecting a few fallen sycamore leaves to feed the bucks when I let them out for the day. The creek fish are still hungry, but will wait until the next morning for more ticks.