Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tadpoles Anyone?

What do you get when you cross a dilapidated pool that is structurally sound enough to hold water but not to swim in, days and days of rain, piles of putrefying leaves, and Mother Nature?

You get a quagmire of sludge filled with millions of mosquito eggs and larvae that will eventually grow up to make dusk in your backyard an all-you-can-eat bug buffet where you and your family are the nightly special served up whenever you go out to play.

You also get dozens of tadpoles. Luke’s teacher has been looking for a tadpole so the class could watch it turn into a frog. When John was at the neighbor’s house trying to get the pump running so we could drain the quagmire and cause a disturbance in the mosquito force to rival that caused when the Death Star destroyed Alderaan, he noticed the tadpoles. Luke was very excited to tell his teacher he could bring in tadpoles. She said, “Oh. Greeeaaat.” Was this sarcasm? Could be, since there aren’t many days of school left and school will be out before the tadpoles turn to frogs. Then what will she do with them?

Tadpoles are also quite the prima donnas. They are very specific on the containers they like. They prefer to be in rain water. They like lettuce but it must be boiled and frozen before it can be given to them. They also prefer organically grown greens. They like protein but only a couple times a week. They eat constantly, and you have to keep an eye on their food supply and feed them again as soon as the food is gone. Sounds like some kids I know.

So here we go on our collection journey.

The Collecting:

The Result

We ended up collecting more than the class needed. The boys really wanted to keep the extras as pets. I really, really, really did not. Really. Once we had them collected and started doing all the work of transferring them to their final home, etc. the boys quickly lost interest. So, we put the extras in the base of our creek/waterfall and maybe they’ll survive there and turn into frogs one day. I guess if they die, we can always start biology class a few years early.


Unknown said...

I remember as a kid we had tadpoles all the time!! I was always facinated by them, I am guessing my mom wasn't nearly as happy everytime we brought some home from the creek down teh street. :)
I was floored when my kids had no idea that frogs were once tadpoles!!! What exactly are they learning in school?

Bri said...

This brings back memories! One summer, we (my cousins and I) had contests to see who could catch the most tadpoles in our grandma's pond. My mom was less than thrilled with the results, but we always put them back.

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

I think they'd be way cooler neighbors if they provided a swimming hole for YOU and not a breeding ground for insects. NASTY!

Grant's class collected tadpoles in their pond out back two weeks ago. They all dies this weekend. Today the botanist-turned-preschool-teacher teacher caught a FROG! All the kids were yanking us to see it after class today. It was cute.


MP said...

Is that your pool? That you are cleaning out and filling with chlorinated water and inviting me over to lounge on a raft w/ a book (as soon as it's warm?)

Our pond has a new frog this year and we're city folks..

Robin said...

Before you know it in our house, tadpoles kept as pets turn into smelly dead pets. (sigh)

Our Crooked Tree said...

Been there...I did not want to keep ours either.