The water was crowded with dead and dieing minnows when I came upon the puddle at mid day.
The bigger minnows had already expired, doomed by their greater need for oxygen I suppose. Warm water holds less oxygen than cooler water and this inch of water over a dark mud background had been absorbing thermal energy all morning long.
Beneath the dead adults, hordes of tiny minnows were spending their last minutes in the oxygen depleted water.
I walked back up to the barn and grabbed a bucket and one of my D-frame dip nets. Returning to the pond I squished out through the muck and dragged the net through the puddle. It came up filled with mud like not quite set chocolate pudding.
When I sloshed the slop into the water filled bucket, the mud sank and the live minnows rose to the top. I worked the net a few times, picked up a few pitiful stragglers flipping about and headed back to the aquaculture tank.
At the tank, I poured the muddy water into a smaller net, strained the minnows and guests from the muck and added them to the turtle tank.
Here's what was in the mud ...
Diving beetle larvae eating dead minnows ... totally oblivious to the fact that their puddle and their time was evaporating under a Florida sun.
Lucky, lucky minnows. These are Gambusia.
A snail and a water boatman.
Hideous wiggly StarTrekmoviedropinChekov'sear scary looking insect larvae.
Okay, bugologists ... what the heck are these?
BAD NEWS DEPARTMENT: After two great frisky days, Gumbo relapsed today with a very dangerous 105 degree fever. He's back at the vet for more intensive blood tests and IV fluids.
Sad and frustrating.
I just felt like I owe you news about him even if it's not good.
3:35 pm pupdate: He's at the vet still. His fever is normal and he is frisking about with the vet techs. Blood test results should be back tomorrow. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is high on the suspect list.
It's like a rollercoaster ...