Ever since I was a young girl I have been fascinated with frogs. I used to collect frog everything. A child of the 60's, it was the "Peace. Love. Frogs" era. And having spent a greater part of my life on my grandparents' farm in Michigan - a farm that sat above a lake, I am no stranger to tadpoles.
What's not to love about these incredible teachers of miraculous metamorphosis? They begin as this bubbly, floaty, sticky pile of black speckled jelly mass of eggs and in a few weeks they are frogs! You get to watch them grow legs, then pop some arms. Get reptilian features like bug eyes, speckles and all shades of green. To be apart of that process is nothing short of awe. At 56, STILL a tad in love with them.
So these past few springs, while learning the game of golf, you can imagine my angst being privvy (after a few good spring showers) to a sandtrap or two, filled with water, swimming with tons of taddies. Being unprepared to rescue (containers, net, et al) and because of a push from the hubby "you are not holding everybody up while we rescue frogs," I let it go. And days later, year after year, upon return to the sandtrap, I would find it bone dry knowing full well (cue sound of my heart breaking) that all of those precious babies were gone.
Well not this year!!
As expected, after a big rainstorm, hole number five at Arrowhead Golf Club was a whopping puddle of tadaboodanza. Not a huge amount first time out. WAWA cup (conveniently tossed nearby) was ready. Hubby got them while I putted (so as not to hold anybody up ... ugh) and he nabbed me the first 5. (He golfs barefoot so it made the most sense that he went straight into the wet)I grabbed some algae from the lake and we spent the next 13 holes making sure we did not hit a bump on the course. All taddies intact. We got enough lake water in beer bottles to fill a small jar at home and onto my kitchen windowsill they sat.
I was 10 again. A kid on a mission to save the frogs.
I went to the pet store and nabbed this small reptile mover net thing. It would be easier to grab a few more. I cleaned out a jar. And a giant plastic pretzel barrel. Little did I know what I would find.
When we landed on hole 5 a week later that same sand trap was engorged again and filled to the brim with tadpoles. My first scoop must have netted 50. Next 50 more. They were tiny little black sperms. Got them home and divided them into three jars. I was ready with good water (Aquasana water purifier takes 99% of bad stuff out, especially chlorine). I made them cute little homes.
I researched raising tadpoles, most especially because they needed to be fed and my supply of lake algae was being voraciously consumed. YOUTUBE videos showed me boiled leaf lettuce. And that has been their steady diet for the past month. They not only eat in a feeding frenzy, they are also champion poopers and their little tanks quickly become three larger, more shallow homes that needed to be cleaned every two days. I collected as much rainwater as I could, and the rest was filtered by our home water filtration system. Chlorine would kill them pretty quick.
It is now weeks later. The tads we caught have grown in rapid fashion. They are pretty low maintenance. I am guesstimating we got over 300 and not soon enough ... days later the sand trap was dry and the rest of the thousands did not make it. Feels good to save these precious creatures and their gift to me is that chance to watch them grow into little frogs.
Of the 300 or so, I only lost 3 so far! Those three are now fertilizing my deck tomatoes. As of today, I have three frogs, many with legs and I am searching for the place to release them. The golf course lake or one of the small ponds on hole one will probably be the place, I just do not see frogs there and I fear chemicals in the grass might be running into the waters. I know of the 300 maybe 4 will survive. Just feels good to know at least four made it.