All The News That Fits

Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails;

Posted by Nancy on May 12, 2008

That’s what little boys are made of.

Mother’s day was spent at Elaine and Matt’s.  The food was wonderful, with shrimp kabobs, crab legs, and of course hot dogs and hamburgs for the kids.  Asparagus, corn on the cob, brownies, apple pie – it was a feast.  The best part is, it was all put together by the men, who shopped, cooked, and cleaned.  Wow!

Still, there was an even better part.  That was all the kids wading around in the pond trying to catch tadpoles.  Most waded in too deep and got their pants wet, especially the little boys, and one fell in up to his neck.  Katie stood there videotaping the fun.  They all had to come in and dry off, but they didn’t seem to be bothered by the chilly temperature.

Oh, to be young again.  It looked like so much fun, but I’m not getting wet on such a chilly day.  For that matter, none of the adults did.  Just the kids, who were having too much fun to notice the temperature.

We had walked around the pond earlier looking for frogs, but Kermit wasn’t there and all the others jump before you can get close.  The tadpole population in the massive puddle at the  construction site next door must number in the many tens of thousands – black clouds that totally obscure the muddy bottom.  Birds were circling the puddle but didn’t descend while we were there – they looked like swallows, but I’m not sure.  (Do swallows eat tadpoles?  I think of them as insect eaters that catch their dinner on the wing.)  

Those squirming fat tadpoles, rippling the water’s surface with their unceasing flagellations, surely must look like appetizing pieces of protein from the air for birds.  I wonder if the birds are smart enough to wait till they get a little bigger?  In that shallow depression there will be nowhere for the developing frogs to hide and they will be quite the avian smorgasbord, not to mention all the four-legged critters that will also come visiting.

If something doesn’t thin out that tadpole population Elaine’s yard will soon experience a plague of frogs of Biblical proportions.

We decided we will take the canoe to Radiator Springs and dock it in the pond.  The kids will have a good time learning how to paddle it, floating around and investigating pond life.  With a neighbor who has his doctorate in aquatic studies, they have a ready refernce guide for any questions they might have.  That’s how they know all those tadpoles will turn into leopard frogs.

All in all, it was a delightful day.  This is what life is all about.

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2 Responses to “Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails;”

  1. Elaine said

    The aquatic studies neighbor (who actually only has a master’s, not a doctorate) said they are swallows. I need to put up some swallow houses around the property because he said they’d keep the mosquitoes at bay for us. Yesterday was fun, wasn’t it?

  2. Nancy said

    The birds that live in communal houses and eat mosquitoes are martins, which are a member of the swallow family. I was thinking of barn swallows, who like to nest under the eaves of houses, in barns, etc. -there was a nest of them by Doug’s front door last year and they quasi-attacked every time we got near them.

    Martins have tails that look like a “v”, while swallows are smaller and have long tails that are deeply notched “v”s. That is where the term “tails” in tuxedoes comes from – that’s what their tails look like.

    Let me know which they are. After looking at my book I think they were probably martins.

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