Well, it turns out the rumor was true. My youngest daughter did in fact want to collect some tadpoles in order to observe metamorphosis. “Hmmm,” I thought to my self, “This sounds like it might involve water – and maybe a fish tank!” Those of you who know me, understand this fact about me – I’m a fish killer. Of course I’m a very well meaning fish killer, I never mean to actually force these little swimming creatures to breathe their last breath – it just kind of happens around here. Like the dust.
Anywhooo, my enthusiastic daughter nagged begged, me to make her wish come true, apparently failing to recall my track record with fish tanks. I even tried to pacify her with a plastic tadpole. It came in a set with a couple of others developing arms and legs and included a frog. Who wouldn’t want a fine plastic tadpole set? They double as bathtub toys as a perk. Well, she wasn’t buying it. As a matter of fact, it turns out that this whole metamorphosis thing in combination with habitats is part of the provincial learning outcomes. So I caved in enthusiastically agreed – ’cause that’s the kind of mom I am.
Armed with empty yogurt containers and gum boots, we searched the nearest pond we could find. Though it looked suspiciously like a swamp under the threat of drying up in the summer. I didn’t let this deter me though, because every summer I hear a symphony of frogs in that very area. Not to mention the very fact that I used to fish tadpoles out of the gully in first grade – so technically, I had experience.
We found lots of micro-organisms, and then wait – something that looked like tadpoles! Okay they were really small, but they definitely had heads and swimming tails. We capped our containers, went home, and added our new swimming creatures to their new environment with carefully distilled water, complete with a pond plant.
They promptly died.
I realized later that they probably weren’t tadpoles. Tadpoles apparently, are a little bit bigger (close to 1cm to be exact). Luckily a friend offered to help me redeem myself by suggesting we come and scoop a few out of her pond. So, this is what we did. Once again, we came home and added to them to their new tadpole habitat – this time including the pond water they came with.
They swam feebly, then promptly sank to the bottom. They looked dead. Turns out however; that this is normal. Presently, they are hanging out in the algae on the pond plant, or clinging to the sides of the container and rocks. Sooo, they seem to be alive. I’ve fed them a little boiled lettuce, so we’ll just have to wait and see. Over time I’ll update you on their demise status. If all else fails; however, I have a fine plastic tadpole set that can be immersed in water – maybe even with the pond plant.
In the interim, here’s a little tadpole video for you to enjoy – starring who else but, Kermit the Frog.