Tadpole Update

As of today, we have 11 tree frogs. Amazingly all of the tadpoles we moved indoors made the transition. I guess because we had them in a heated tank, the transition was pretty fast. It only took about 2 weeks for the first tadpole to transform, and about another 10 days for the last one to turn.

We’ve had some challenged with the frogs. The first problem we encountered was with getting them to eat. I read that they eat insects, so I bought the smallest live crickets I could find at Petco. Even these were too big for the frogs to eat. So I went back and got the smallest mealworms I could find. They seem to be eating those and fattening up nicely.

The tree frogs around Rachel’s parents house are very loud and make this high pitched screeching sound to communicate with the other frogs. Luckily the frogs we have inside haven’t started making any sort of noise yet.

One of the neat things we’ve noticed is theĀ variationsĀ in the coloring of the frogs. Some are light green, some are a dark olive green, some are brown, some are gray and other are a tan color. Pretty neat.

I read that the frogs are nocturnal, but they seem to be pretty active throughout the day. On cooler days, they seem to huddle together to stay warm. On hot days like yesterday, they seem to gravitate to the water bowl.

We had about 50 tadpoles outside in a little makeshift pond. Due to the crazy weather fluctuations this spring, they don’t seem to be doing quite as well. Max has skimmed out several dead tadpoles over the past few weeks. Not sure if they will make it, but we’ll keep it going. Max has also been adding minnows that he catches down at the lake, so not sure if that is disrupting the tadpoles or not.

Max seems to be fascinated by the frogs, tadpoles and fish, and wants to pick them up and play with them. The frogs are so small and fragile, so we haven’t let him pick them up yet. He’s been very responsible so far and enjoys feeding them and keeping them well cared for.


Nature Boy

On Saturday, I got to sleep in till around 10AM which was glorious. When I woke up, Max asked if we could go back to the nature trail. It was going to be a “Ziggyless” weekend, since Ziggy was camping with him Mom and Grandmother. I was well rested and full of energy so I said sure. I packed up his bug vacuum, bug net, fish net and portable wet/dry habitat and we headed over to his favorite local spot.

Start of the Trail

We scooped up a few more water strider bugs, collected some leaves, rocks and sticks and walked along the stream. Ater spending about an hour down near the bank of the stream, we headed out onto the trail. Max took off running, hopping over rocks, and skipping over tree roots. My first instinct was to yell for him to stop. But he looked like he was having so much fun, so instead, I took off behind him and ran down the trail. I followed his lead and jumped over tree stumps, and sprinting across the foot bridges that connect portions of the trail. At one point there was a good sized tree that has fallen across the trail. Max continued running, planted his foot on the top of the trunk and jumped over without missing a beat. I was super impressed.

Up and Over
Scooping from the Stream
Look what I found!
So happy

Max was a little winded, so we stopped for a bit and he drank from his canteen. Once he rested for a bit, I asked him if he wanted to run some more. He looked and me and with a big smile said “Yuppers!”. We took off running till we got to the end of the trail. At this point we were pretty close to where I parked the car. So I asked Max if he was tired and wanted to go home. He said no. I was a little nervous that he would be exhausted half way through and I would end up having to carry him, the camera and backpack back to the car. Luckily this didn’t happen and he made it all the way back. However he was a little too tired from all the walking and running, so we never made it down to the lake to try to catch fish.

When we got home, he dumped the strider bugs into the tadpole tub/pond we had put together and couldn’t be happier. The day together was great. It didn’t cost us anything and the amount of fun and enjoyment Max got from it was off the charts. The one regret was we didn’t try to catch any fish.

So Sunday morning rolls around, and while we were eating breakfast, and Max asked if we could go down to the lake. We had his soccer practice at 11, so I explained that we could go after practice and after we had lunch. He was thrilled.

Armed with his “Mega Scoop Net”, we headed down to the lake. At first, we didn’t have much luck. Then we saw some other kids by the other dock, who seemed to be having much better success. So we headed down and met a nice boy and his sister. They showed Max how they were catching fish and Max gave it a try. Next thing I know I heard him say “I got one!”. I rushed over and look at what he had in his net, and it was a tiny, single minnow, but he was so excited. After a couple of more dips of the net, we ended up with about 2 dozen minnows. We dropped them into his portable wet/dry habitat and took them home. He proudly showed then off to Mommy and we added them with the tadpoles. Not sure if they will survive, but we’ll give it a shot.

Glad I had my camera so I was able to capture some of the special moments I got to spend with Max.

Look what I caught!
Tadpole Pond