"I'm so proud of them, they do so well on their own."
"I've done all I can and now it's time for them to be free on their own"
"It's really amazing how much they've changed in such a short time"
No. I'm not talking about my little people that grew in my womb about to go to school. All of these words were uttered from the mouths of two of my little people.
For about two weeks Azalea started doing her own little science project sort of by accident. She of course would never say it was science. But we sure had a full on hands down life cycle learning experience here. And it was awesome.
After one of our afternoon Monsoon rains, Azalea and I went for a little walk. We only made it two houses down. There is a big puddle that collects in front of our neighbors yard. We are in an old neighborhood with a poor gutter/ sewer/ drainage system, so in many areas there are puddles that simply collect. And then usually evaporate a day or so later.
This particular puddle gets larger than the others though. And when you looked at it from afar it appears that there is rain gently dripping on it. Thing is, the skies are clear and the monsoon has past and there's no more rain, but the drops are still there.
So after further investigation there were literally thousands of tadpoles swimming around the puddle.
So we stopped and Azalea caught tadpoles and released them.
And then we left as it's in the blaring sun. And then came back later.
Hours and hours sitting watching my little lady get her clothes soaked in the puddle while she picks up the tiny little guys and then quickly puts them back because they can't yet breathe out of water.
So the next day we are sitting around. Neighbors come and visit with us. Some other kids pick some of their own tadpoles up. Some just stop to chat. Others just get to have their dogs loved on by Azalea. We find out they are toads, not frogs.
Azalea collected a few (as in 25) and keeps them in a tub on our front porch. I won't let her bring them in the house (too messy). And I won't let her bring them in the back yard. I tell her it's because of the dogs, but really, if they cross over into the backyard there's a commitment to keep them. (as in forever).
So they stayed on our front porch.
Everyday, about 25 times a day, Azalea checks on the creatures, picks them up. Plays with them. Sees how they are growing. Scrapes some algae up to put in the water to make sure they have something to eat. (Just guessing that's what they want, they came from a street puddle after all.) Everytime we come or go from the house, she will stop to see them and check on them. See how they are getting bigger and growing.
Eventually they start to grow legs. LEGS! How creepy.
But then as I'm putting the trash out the other night. I notice the little guys have jumped onto the rock and one of them is breathing. This means that the little critters are breathing air and not just their oxygen from the water.
This also means that if we don't get a "real" pond situation going these little hoppers aren't going to make it much longer on our porch.
Azalea also comes out and sees one of them floating in the water. He looks dead. She screams. But then we figure out that he's not dead. Only sleeping. (We nudge him and he moves).
Catch and Release.
It's time for our slimy friends to make their way over to the Biopark where we have caught other tadpoles before. Azalea agrees. After all she is worried about the crawdads at the ditch eating them. Good point.
Tigo, Azalea and I drive our friends over to the pond at the botanical gardens.
With a proud little tear in her eye...."They just grow up so fast."
Then they swim over to a sheltered little area of the pond behind a rock.
"I did a good job raising them. But now it's time for them to go out on their own. I'm really proud of the toads they are becoming."
Does this make me a grandma to toads. Oh geeezzzzz.