We are used to animal noises in the night... it's common to hear coyotes howling, the baby deer crying, the neighborhood livestock neighing, braying, moo-ing, crowing, trilling, baaa-ing, cackling and quacking. We even have a neighbor with a pig and if it was quiet enough I'm guessing we could hear his piggy grunting.
But this was a sound I couldn't remember hearing before... It took a few minutes before I realized it was frogs, and from the sounds of things LOTS of frogs!
Our gully used to be a small stream, and the dry lake bed just west of the house is... well.. a dry lake bed and used to be filled with water. But for decades now there hasn't been surface water within a couple of miles of us. So... no frogs.
R and I went searching for them late one evening, but needless to say, couldn't find them. Luckily they found us...
They'd laid hundreds (thousands?) of eggs in a large puddle on our next door neighbor's land... a puddle that started drying up about the time the eggs hatched into tadpoles.
That's how we acquired a bucketful of tadpoles.
Being homeschoolers I was thrilled to have them... it looked like a wonderful review of metamorphosis. Thanks to plenty of milkweed in the gully, we've raised Monarch butterflies almost every year... but we've never raised any tadpoles.
We put together a small habitat for them and they seem to be doing quite well on goldfish food with some scraps of algae pellets.
I love seeing their tiny legs emerge... Our biggest one is definitely starting to look frog-like.
We are guessing they are western chorus frogs, but don't really know for sure.
R wants to keep them forever, of course...
...but once they start hopping they may have to relocate to a lovely stream that's not far away. (R may have to visit them there!)