11 October 2011

Tadpoles to Treefrogs

Well, it has been another long week. Or two. Or however long it has been. Who can keep track of time? Not me. We have a whole slew of projects going on at the moment, some we are picking at slowly, some nearly done, and a few that really are done, but I haven't taken any final pictures of yet. Too many other things have been going on these days. We've also started seriously working on our handmade holiday gifts, and I can't wait to share them. For now, however, you get tadpoles.

Kaia and I were watching tadpoles in a pond some weeks back, and wanting to give her a closer look, I captured a handful in a bucket. She immediately plunged both hands in, chasing them around, giggling, trying to catch them in her hands. It wasn't long before the unsurprising question came up. "Can we keep them?"

Here is a picture of one of the grown up tadpoles to keep you being scared off by too much text in a row. Anyway... I wasn't really sure what we had to keep tadpoles in, and told her so. She wanted to look. Fine. We poked around the barns and eventually came up with an old, large tupperware bin. Amazingly, it had no cracks or holes in it. We also found a beat up screen, which did have a few holes, but none as big as a cat or a toddler, which was my main concern. But wait! I don't know what to feed tadpoles. We don't have any tadpole food. Well.. actually we keep some frogs and newts in a tank inside, and when I checked their food, it turned out that we did, indeed, have tadpole food. I surrendered.

I rinsed out the tub, Kaia scrubbed the screen, and then we collected rocks to build some hiding places for the tadpoles, and somewhere for them to escape the water when they'd grown.

I poured the tadpoles into their new home, and filled it up with pond water. Kaia fed them, and sat and watched them come up to nibble at the food.

We placed the screen on top, and Kaia weighted it down with a couple more rocks. Rocks with which, I might add, I have twice managed to take in both shins as I stubble groggily out to feed the tadpoles nights when we've forgotten to earlier. Yes, I tipped the screen down and dumped one rock neatly into each shin. Twice. Anyway...

Kaia checked on them every day, watching them grow. Eventually they began sprouting back legs, which Kaia found to be the silliest thing in the world. She loved sticking her hands in and stirring them up.

With time, they began looking much more like tailed frogs, and we noticed that they all were developing sticky little fingers. Tree frogs!

Earlier today, Kaia joyfully released six new, tiny, sticky, tree frogs into the world. She cried when we released our butterflies earlier this Summer, (a post I still haven't managed to finish...) but she dealt much better this time. Though she did demand they come back to visit her. We'll have to see if they do. :)

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