Wednesday, May 26, 2010

From Tadpoles to Frogs

Sometime in April about the first or second week on a Thursday, we got up and went to Coop.  Riley went to his science class first that morning and then came into Art Class for second hour.  He was so excited!  "Mom!  Look what we got!"  As he held up a Ziplock storage bag full of water, I looked closer and saw four little tadpoles swimming around in the water.  I experienced a mixture of thoughts and feelings at that moment...Oh my, I hope these don't die...what will we do with these?...Oh how fun this will be to watch them turn into frogs!  What a cool lesson this will be!

Well, I must say it has been a pretty cool lesson.  We left Coop that day and headed to Dollar Tree to buy a container to put some pond water in.  Then we headed to Chris' office because there is a pond where we could get some water.  When we got home we pulled out the little aquarium Riley's former Beta had lived in and got it all set up so this would be the tadpole's home.

Over the next few weeks we noticed that there were only three tadpoles swimming around so one did not make the move to the aquarium.  We fed them fish food and then eventually added lettuce to the menu, which they seemed to devour.

After about 5 - 6 weeks we noticed two of the smaller tadpoles had back legs.  Then their front legs showed up and their tails were getting shorter.

 Can you see his back legs?

One morning Riley was eating his breakfast and all the sudden he exclaimed, "Mom! He is a frog!!"  I looked and sure enough one of the tadpoles had just a tiny tail left and was frantically coming to the surface for air.  Riley had used some of his birthday money to buy a frog/bug habitat so we used a cup and scooped  him out and poured him into his new home.  He climbed up on some of the "rocks" and just sat there as if to say, "ahhh....air....".  He is tiny (about 1/4") and seems to enjoy his new home.  We have been catching bugs to feed him but have yet to see him eat a bug.  We bought crickets for him today hoping he will eat those and grow some.

 If you look closely, he is stretched out on the side of the habitat, there is a bug up above him in the corner.  This must be some special move to catch those bugs...I hope he's not stuck.

The next tadpole we found sitting on a "leaf" the next day.  He proved to be a little more difficult to move to the new habitat because as we attempted to remove him from the aquarium he swam away.  After we finally caught him, we went to pour him into the frog habitat and he ended up going down the side of the habitat and disappearing underneath.  We tried to rescue him but could not do so with out tearing the whole habitat apart.   We were disappointed but there wasn't much else we could do.

We now have one tadpole left, he is the biggest one and only just now has his back legs.  His tail looks different from the other two frogs.  Maybe he is a different kind...?  We will feed him lettuce and fish food till he develops his front legs, then he will stop eating till he becomes a frog.  As their tail is absorbed they will not eat because they get all their nutrients from their tail.

Can you see him there below the rocks?  He has little back legs and his tail is wider than the others.

It has been fun and very interesting to watch these little tadpoles grow into frogs.  I've always seen pictures but never saw it in real life.  I have to admit, I'm a little skeptical about our LITTLE frog making it because he is really LITTLE.  But we'll see.  Thankfully Riley seems to understand there is a chance this little guy might not make it but he keeps trying.  He looses his zeal to catch bugs but seems willing to catch a cricket and drop it in the habitat.  It's been a good summer lesson, full of ups and downs though.

Wednesday's Walk - Looking for a Cowboy

I am going back to the Fall of 2006, Riley is 4 1/2, Chris has just gotten home from Iraq and we needed some family time!  We decided to take a trip to Branson, Missouri were we spent a week resting, and having  fun, but mainly having some good quality family time.

We were headed to Silver Dollar City and Riley's main request was that he wanted to see a cowboy!  The first day we were there, we spent the whole morning just making our way around the park, checking out everything that we could.  As we went along Chris and I noticed we hadn't see a cowboy yet!   Maybe we were in the wrong place at the wrong time...maybe there weren't any there at Silver Dollar city?..I had seen other tradesmen or women practicing there trade dressed up as cowboys and wearing the prairie dresses, but no cowboy just walking around jingling his spurs or slinging a pistol...

Finally after lunch that day, we were coming up a walkway and headed to a different part of "town" when we saw what looked like a cowboy sitting in a chair watching an artist busy at work.  I stopped and pointed him out to Riley, his face lit up and a big smile came over him.  I suggested he go say hi and I would take their picture.

Riley walked up to the cowboy with this look of awe on his face.  The cowboy said "howdy" and asked Riley a few questions which he gladly answered.  After a few minutes the cowboy stood up and looked at me to see if we were ready for a picture.  Are you kidding me?  He had to have been about seven feet tall!  I was so shocked at how tall he was and how tiny my son looked next to him that it took me a minute to have the where-with-all to get my camera ready!  Riley turned around and put his hands on his hips and smiled this big smile as if to say, "I found my cowboy!  Take my picture Mom!"  It was priceless!

I remember how little he was that trip and how excited he was to have his family back together and have some good fun looking for a cowboy!  Thanks for joining me on my Wednesday's Walk today!