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Posts Tagged ‘Frogs’

The Survey Says…

Posted by Nancy on July 6, 2008

The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, a short story by Mark Twain, had nothing on the Radiator Springs bullfrogs today.  Sean figured out how to catch them this evening and the kids had frog races to see which would get back to the pond first.

They are big, and they are fast.  The kids were screaming encouragement, and I think it was “Trevor” that won.  They had named the frogs, of course. 

The frog races were one of the last activities of our very busy, very satisfying day.

We started at 5:30 a.m. to get to the LDS church near Radiator Springs by 10:00 for the baby’s blessing.  Our extended family increased the attendance there by about 50%, and they were happy to have a pianist for Relief Society and more children for their Primary.  They are a strong branch with good members, but 23 additional people makes an impact on a small congregation.

Elaine is in the Primary presidency, so had to deal with the fallout from our being there.  That included W~ walking in, taking one look at her, and saying, “Why do you have to be here?”   From the mouths of babes…  Wonder if he had some mischief planned, or if he was just curious, or maybe felt sorry for her?

After church some of us went berry picking over by the creek and found two cherry trees with sweet yellow cherries, two varieties of mulberries, and several large thickets of black raspberries.  We ate as we picked and still managed to fill two containers with fruit.   While we were foraging others cooked dinner on the grill and got out the side dishes that had been brought; I made a blueberry buckle for dessert and we all ate till we were stuffed.

The cousins enjoyed playing together and had fun jumping on the trampoline, playing pool (as in, on a pool table), swimming in the pond, running foot races around the pond, riding bikes in the driveway, and “helping” Uncle Sean catch frogs.  Sean is excellent with little kids and had some of them croaking at the top of their lungs on the premise that it was attracting the frogs to them.  Too cute.

Most of the adults and some of the kids played games of Bananagrams and Apples to Apples, while a few lucky people managed to get naps.  Katie and Elaine captured highlights of the day on their cameras, and we all had plenty of time to just sit and relax together and talk. 

Such are the rewards that come after many years of raising children.  If you’re lucky they turn out to be people you enjoy spending time with; if you’re very lucky you may even become friends.

The weather was perfect, the whole family was together for the first time since Christams (well, all except H~ who is out of town), and it was a Norman Rockwell sort of day.  We all agreed we should do it again soon and set a date for the first weekend in August.  By the time Bud and I go home it was 11:00  p.m.

Now for the survey, and I really would appreciate thoughtful responses.  Especially from those who are familiar with the LDS faith, but not from anyone who was there today.

 
Which, if any, of the above activities break the Sabbath, and why?

Posted in Family, Mormon life | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

Tadpoles, Bullfrogs, and Cows

Posted by Nancy on June 8, 2008

We spent the afternoon in Radiator Springs and had supper with Elaine and her family.  Katie, et al, were also there.

The kids spent the afternoon swimming in the pond and cultivating their sunburn (it was the second day in a row in the sun for all of them).  It looked like fun but I had better things to do.

I checked on Elaine’s tadpole collection, which is now buckets with leopard frog tadpoles, toad tadpoles, and bullfrog tadpoles.  Some of the toads have completed their transformaiton and are the tiniest little amphibians I have ever seen – maybe 1/2″ in length.  The leopard frogs are just beginning to develop little legs, and they will also be tiny frogs.  One bullfrog is already a frog, and he is a respectable size although not nearly as large as he will be when he finishes growing up.  Later we saw clusters of eggs and even tinier tadpoles swimming in the pond – probably younger leopard frog tadpoles.

Late in the afternoon we heard two big bullfrogs talking back and forth from the south end of the pond and went over to check them out.  The one hopped in quickly, but the other just sat there while we studied him thoroughly.  They are good sized, but not that big considering the size of the noise they make. Their heads are very green, which I guess camouflages them better among the algae and water plants against predation from birds and other animals. 

Elaine said she asked G~, age 5, if she heard the bullfrog when one was vocalizing a couple days ago.  G~ said, “Oh, is that what that is?”  Elaine asked her what she thought it was and she said, “I just thought it was a drowning cow.”

The crazy thing is, I can hear it – not that I have ever heard a cow drowning.  It’s what a child might imagine one would sound like, though.

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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.

Posted in Family | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »