Apr 25, 2013

We found Tadpoles!

Sydney came down with another stomach bug last Thursday. This time Cameron and I were fortunate enough not to catch, but I still spent Friday and Monday home from work, caring for my sick baby girl. By Monday evening, I was spent so after Sydney went down for the night, I headed outside to do some much needed weeding.
I worked my way from the front to the back. All the way back to the back fence, where London's summer water play table had spent the winter. I'd failed to clean it up and put it away for the winter. I blame the early days of exhaustion that set in when Sydney was born. London was still playing with the table into November as it had been unseasonably warm.
But I'm glad I failed. As I was bending down to pick a weed in the cement cracks, I noticed something moving in the algea and rain water filled table. Upon further inspection I discovered we had tadpoles - very tiny tadpoles. I immediately ran into the house to get Cameron and London so we could show her the "froggies". She got quite a kick out of them. Cameron checked some other areas that we have standing water to see if we had any tadpoles in those containers, but we didn't - I think because this was located next to our fence, which backs up to a field with natural marsh land, the source of water was in a safe place for the frogs to lay their eggs.
I had planned to raise tadpoles inside when London was a little older so she could watch the metamorphosis, but why miss out on the opportunity now? Last night, after running over to Target to pick up a prescription (that wasn't there) I headed over to PetsMart and grabbed Tadpole Food (who knew there was such a thing?) dechlorinizing drops, rocks to put in  the bottom of our spare aquarium and some fresh water plants to promote oxygen levels in the water. I learned I needed all this from research online.
After a quick set up I sent Cameron outside, in the dark, to retrieve some of the tadpoles. We know he captured at least 7 but there may be more. They now have a new home in the aquarium, in our kitchen.
Upon close inspection, we discovered a few have back legs already! I'll have to get some big rocks in there soon so when they turn into more frog-like tadpoles, they can climb out to get some air. They were all safe and sound this morning when we checked on them - no belly ups so far, and no cat interference. We hope it lasts. I can't wait to show London the aquarium this evening! We were too rushed and zombie-like this morning to take the time to show her.
When the tadpoles are officially frogs, we'll take them down to a nearby pond to release back into the wild. And we're keeping an eye on the water level in London's water table to make sure the other tadpoles have a fighting chance - though they will have the birds to contend with. I'm also going to ask her daycare teacher if she is interested in some. Why not share the joy with all the kids there?It's a fun learning experience that I loved doing many summers as a kid. I remember catching the giant bullfrog tadpoles and watching those sprout legs and turn into frogs. We had a pond in our backyard and would release them out there. I love falling asleep to the sounds of frogs chirping. At least where our house is now, up against the field, it is almost like we are in the country and get to experience some of those country joys.

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