Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Fly - er, Hop Away Home..

After close inspection of our developing amphibians, we've decided we have a mix of Spring Peeper frogs and some kind of toad, probably just an American Toad. The Spring Peepers are smooth and brown/green, while the toads are darker and slightly bumpier. Spring Peepers have a bumpy appearance anyway, so identification, especially of such small specimens, has been pretty difficult. This would explain their great differences in development the last few weeks. Either way, they're pretty cool.

There were eleven frogs and toads ready to hop to freedom last Friday. Forgive the blurryish pictures. I couldn't use the viewscreen in the bright sunlight, but you should get at least a reasonable idea of the size of these teeny little guys. This is the "path" we walk through to get to the creek across the road. Poison Ivy, anyone?
I've never had poison ivy and so far the kids have proven to also be immune. While we don't count on immunity, as often as we're exposed it's still a good thing to have. We transported the frogs (and toads) in an old tea canister.

Aww, aren't they just So Freakin Cute?!?

Hop away, my tiny little friends! See how camouflaged they are in the sand and mud?On Sunday, we took another eight to my friend's pond, where the eggs were gathered weeks ago. On the walk back to the house, the kids found a very cool garter snake.
After several minutes of handling, the snake was not happy. Garters aren't venomous, but they will still bite. Here it is, pissed off and poised to strike at anything that gets too close. Like some crazy lady with a camera. Isn't it beautiful?
Here is a picture taken while I'm running from the beautiful snake that has determined I am close enough, and slow enough to take out its aggression.

Ah, wildlife!

We started with 26 live tadpoles and have so far released 19 frogs and toads. Yesterday two frogs died suddenly in the tank before their tails were fully absorbed. I'm not sure what happened there, but considering how many have made it, I think we've done pretty well in caring for them. For those of you that have a hard time with math, that means we have 5 left in the tank; two toads we're letting go this afternoon, one tadpole with only back legs, and two frogs (or maybe toads?) that still have significant tails. More updates soon.


karisma said...

How could something so beautiful be poison? I am visiting your blog for the first time and loved this picture of your walkway. I also loved Cadences mothers day card which by the way I didn't need a translation for at the bottom. Thankyou. As a mum of five I understood every word she wrote. How sweet and precious she is.

Heather said...

Thanks! We think so too ;) And thanks for visiting. Come back anytime.