Monday, August 1, 2011

metamophosis

A couple of weeks ago, after d-a-y-s of rain, I started hearing an unfamiliar noise at night.  It started about 10:00 at lasted late into the night...

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.

Until now.

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!)

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