My house is invariably filled with Jacob’s nature projects. Just in recent memory we’ve had an “insect collection” he created in a cardboard box with various bugs impaled on toothpicks… a cost-conscious entomology exhibit? A water bottle filled with rosemary next to my side of the bed. An incident where he captured an entire jar of bees at Nate’s baseball game. This spring’s only live display in his entire class with a terrarium of beetle varieties during the unit on insects. The expired moth the size of my face he found in a Days Inn stairwell and brought home from Pennsylvania. Oh, and let’s not forget the largest, most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen captured and then put in my freezer for safe keeping. The boys called it a “spant” (spider ant). Google called it a Jerusalem cricket. I called it the fastest way to losing your TV privilege for a week if it isn’t removed from my freezer immediately.
This afternoon, at school, he found and tamed a praying mantis the size of a spant.
So, this blog has chronicled close to eight years of nature loving, pet needing, trivia winning, animal magnetizing, Wild Kratts watching thrills and spills. And of course it’s all catching up to us now…
Over Memorial Day weekend, Angela had her birthday at a beautiful local vineyard with a Pinterest perfect house, outdoor fireplace and pizza oven. The kids spent several blissful hours playing in the trough fountain filled with river rocks… and the most darling miniature frogs.
Jake caught frog after frog. He was in heaven. They’d had an entire weekend of all you can drink sugar and minimal sleep and now unlimited amphibians!
We ended up bringing three or four home in our little plastic terrarium. After one night, I made the boys take the tiny Barbie frogs down to the creek so we wouldn’t end up with a tank of cuisses de grenouille.
A day or two later, Jakey says, “Mom, what do you think this is in the tank? Do you think they’re eggs… or poop?”
Turns out, it wasn’t poop.
So now when we want to go out of town for the weekend, I hire chicken-sitters, and worry about who’s going to take care of our 19 tadpoles and 5 baby frogs.
We’re learning a lot as we witness the development of tadpoles (also known as renacuajos in Spanish) into little frogs. There’s nothing like drinking your morning coffee while watching tiny little legs sprout. Mmmm, drink it in. The current danger is that once they turn into frogs, they sink like stones. Despite the dry stones in their tank, unfortunately there have been a few Darwinian casualties… croaked.
Now we have two tanks, no thanks to me. One for babies and an “aquatic terrestrial” set-up for froggie graduation. $4 tank from the thrift store plus $115 in various items from PetSmart. Not sure who the smart is referring to but I have a feeling it’s not us…
Last weekend James had a very concerning but important epiphany, “Jame, do you remember what everyone kept complaining about at Angela’s birthday?”
“Uh no, what?”
“How exhausted they were from the frogs croaking all night long.”