The challenges and rewards are greatest where two systems meet.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Barrel of Fun ... the Edge of Aquatic

I saw this female gray tree frog on a raspberry branch hanging over my rain barrel.  It was early June and I hadn't heard any "chirping", so never thought to cover the rain barrels ... yet. 

I never saw a single cluster of the many groups of 12 eggs.  But by June 20th, we had hundreds of tadpoles swimming in the barrel.

It was fascinating to watch their development. The transparent spots are fairy shrimp and I learned they are NOT a food for the tads.

The hind legs were visible within two weeks, but the forelegs took forever.  This individual looked ready for the fourth leg to "pop" on Oct. 13th.  It finally broke the filmy skin late the next day. 

One of the real surprises for me, while waiting for my eye to heal, was:  I discovered frogs shed their aquatic skin. You can see the ghost of the skin over the fingers on his right forearm.

I very carefully checked each morning. I had 12 larvae in an aquarium in the house and (thankfully) they seemed to climb early in the morning once they became terrestrial.

I released this fellow just before the remaining 10 took a trip to the Bridgewater / Hebron 3rd grade.
It was a GREAT couple of visits with Mrs. Shedd and her students.  They had "Super Observations" and they told me they learned a lot of new facts about frogs.

It is so important to be aware of our relationships with our surroundings and the responsibilities we have to all organisms.  We all -- frogs and humans -- hold a piece to the puzzle.