The brain of a fly must be no bigger than the head of a pin. Still, these pesky critters can be trained, and they can tell time. Just like the squirrels and the mice, a cluster of flies comes every morning at the same time when I'm about halfway through milking Cindy, the first goat. The mice poke their heads out of their burrows and the squirrels duck through holes in the barn wall looking for grain. The flies gather together for the sacrificial squirt. I've found that if I aim one stream of milk onto the stand, it keeps the flies busy and not bothering either the goat or me. Sometimes I'm preemptive, but if not, I'll glance down and there they are, milling about and waiting in the same spot for their slurp.
On the subject of flies, taking a break while Esther (nonmilker) was having breakfast, I watched a daddy-longlegs with a fly it had trapped. Quick as a wink, that spider wrapped up the fly in a swaddling of web silk like a housewife covering leftovers with cling film. Could be that the fly was too full of milk to get away in the first place and staggered into the web.
Speaking of training (get on board my train of thought here), Huey and Dewey, those overgrown scrub jay boys, are finally getting the message. They are following their overworked parents to the grain bucket. At first they would perch on the edge of the bucket while Ma hopped in to get a snack and hand it up to them. Now they're going in and feeding themselves. I can't say I'm happy about the goat food going down the birds' gullets, but I do sympathize with those parents and their loutish sons.
And so it goes in my parlor. One way or another, everything gets fed.