And this is what happens when Mom joins in the fun:
And this is what happens when Mom joins in the fun:
5. I grew up swimming in lakes and rivers. I'm afraid of the ocean.
6. I have two tattoos. I ditched the nose ring when Chad was born, but I've been thinking about getting one again.
7. I don't care what anyone thinks of me, as long as they don't think I'm stupid. I'd much rather be considered ugly (even repulsive) than ignorant.
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.
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.
While it's sort of difficult to see, the amphibian on the left has all four legs. The one on the top has just back legs, and those little bumps from its sides are front legs still tethered with the transparent skin covering they've had since hatching. The one on the bottom has its back legs just beginning to form underneath its body. There are still one or two in the tank with no signs of developing appendages yet.
We will be releasing the frogs/toads individually when they are fully formed with no remaining tail, and by the looks of things that may be as soon as two days from now. I'm actually very happy that they have developed at different rates because that gives us more time to watch them before they're all released. I'm guessing we'll only have them another two weeks at most.
"If it is a nice day,
I will tell you what to do.
Go outside and play.
If you have a pool,
Play in it instead.
But you will need a swimming suit."
She signed it with her first and last names, which she often does in her letters and notes.
Next was a box from both of the girls, with this note on top:
Inside the box were oodles of gifts from the garage sale shopping the kids did with Grandma Saturday morning:
Three beautiful necklaces; one with the letter "A", a blue sparkly lightening bolt, and a black flower with a rhinestone center. And two baggies of hair ties. Can't ever have enough hair ties, can we? I loved them! Next was Chad's gift:
A gorgeous mantle clock with only the teeniest chip in the corner of the glass.
I think I liked the notes and poem best, but I was so thrilled that my kids picked and paid for gifts for me all by themselves. On this Mother's Day, I'm the happy Mom of three great kids. Here's hoping your Mother's Day was just as nice.
I zoomed in on this guy, post-photo so it's a bit blurry, so you could see their little back legs are developing. We saw this more than a week ago in the form of one solid appendage from their underbelly. We didn't realize at the time it was their legs forming, we just thought it was poop. (If you've ever had goldfish, you know what I'm talking about.)
I can't believe how much fun they are to watch. They've become a lot more active than they were shortly after hatching, and zoom around the tank at the slightest bump or glimpse of movement. When they get a bit bigger and more hearty, I plan to catch a couple and photograph them outside of the water.
This is the rarely-flooded area next to the lake. Normally, the lake sits beyond the furthest treeline in this picture. It might interest you to know that this 1000 acres or so of land, owned by the State of Iowa, is available for lease to farmers every year at a lowered price. Due to rising gas prices, and corresponding rising corn prices, the farmers paid about four times more than prior years per acre this year for this land. Leases were signed two weeks ago, before all this flooding. I'm betting some farmers are losing their ass on this one. While the day was overcast, the view was much brighter than this picture would indicate. Damn camera.
Cadence promptly caught a toad. This particular toad was an amputee, having lost one of his front legs, probably to a turtle. It was healed though, and while he wasn't very good at landing, his disability didn't affect his hopping skills.
Notice the crisp detail of the rocks and plants. Notice the shiny nail polish over dirt-crusted fingernails. Notice that Cadence has as many warts as her new handicapped friend. Now notice the blurry blob that's supposed to be a toad. That fuzzy stump is what's left of his front leg, but after taking four shots, this was the best picture I got of him. Grrr. Piece of shit camera.
After fishing for 45 minutes and catching only one teeny fish, we moved on. A long drive around the lake and down about a hundred gravel roads brought us to a nature preserve. (I forget the name now and it's driving me crazy!) This place had a large grassland with grazing bison and elk, and a Learning Center that offers classes, tours and information on Iowan wildlife. Very cool! We didn't have time to visit the Learning Center or the gift shop (it will make for a cool field trip at a later date), but we drove through the grazing area. I busted out my camera to take pictures. This is what I got:
The bison, buffalo if you like, were wildly and unpredictably lounging in the grass in the far edge of the pasture. I could have gotten some pictures of them, if my camera was good enough. Alas, they were too far away and I didn't even try. Heck, I couldn't even see them well. Grumble grumble.
We got home only minutes before Vic and I pulled out the camera to show off the (crappy) pictures I took today. As he handed it back to me, his fingers caught the wrist strap and the whole thing fell out of my hand onto the slate porch. Batteries went flying. The memory card skidded across into the mud. We got it assembled again and found a small dent in the lens casing and that some small piece of something under the glass viewscreen cover had peeled away at the corner. Bummer. When I turned it on, the lens wouldn't retract and the screen kept telling me "Lens error! Restart camera!" with lots of loud beeping. Fucking great. No matter how shitty, I did spend around 300 bucks for that camera and can't afford to replace it.
A few minutes of screwing with it got the lens working again and it seems that all is well after all. I'll have to deal with the little dent as my punishment for swearing at the camera all day. Cursing at your camera is very bad juju.
Repeat monthly for biceps of steel.
Stay tuned for more great home exercise ideas. I'm going to have a Tylenol and a nap.