Saturday, June 1, 2013

A Cloud of Tadpoles and a Toad Circus

Our family kind of has a thing for amphibians. Tree frogs, green frogs, leopard frogs, wood frogs and toads. We. Love. Them.  And every spring and summer we enthusiastically go froggin' on rainy nights, rescue potential amphibious road kill and seek out tiny tadpoles in creeks, ponds, ditches and pool covers. 

The other evening, my 12 year old daughter, Libby, and I stopped to gather some tadpoles at a little pond area that happens to be right next to a gas station/convenience store. One of the employees walking into work came over, curious what we were up to...Libby was barefoot, at least shin deep in the pond area and using a bowl to scoop up water as she searched for the little polliwogs.

The employee asked what we were doing and I held up our big gallon jar full of future toads and told her that we were collecting tadpoles. At this, there was an awkward pause. Her nose wrinkled a bit as she asked , "why???".  I had to bite back my gut response of an astonished, "why ever NOT, oh ye of little wonder?!?!".  Instead, I simply told her we homeschooled - this was science. That rather traditional (boring) explanation seemed to sit okay with her. 

A second employee specifically came outside after I had to go in the store to get a big cup for some egg clutches we found. Her curiosity got the better of her and she came outside wanting to know if the tadpoles were going to turn into frogs or toads. When I let her know they were toad tadpoles she got very excited. She proceeded to inform us that toads were extremely intelligent creatures, especially when compared to frogs. Apparently, she used to have a toad circus when she was younger and trained them all to do super awesome tricks like jumping through little tiny hoops. Even used them for a school project. 

Yep. It's always nice to meet someone in this world who is even quirkier than you are.