Monday, June 1, 2009

More Critter Adventures

So last week was full of fun and adventure. The first adventure was that I started my babysitting stint for the summer. A family that is in the same church small group Bible study that we attend was in need of someone to watch their 2 kids over the summer while school was out. They are great kids, 12 and 9 years old, and the idea of some companionship for my kids as well as having a few older kiddos around to help me out with a few things sounded like a great opportunity. They are paying for my time/help... whatever... but I am most thankful that the parents have a good idea and handle on some of these home improvement projects we need to tackle at our new house and so to some extent we will be swapping services too. Awesome.

So Zach and Gracie came to start their summer days with us at the end of last week. The first day was a rainy, wet morning and the kids quickly became bored. Luckily a movie kept them going until lunch time and then after lunch Zach took his sister and my oldest two down to the neighborhood creek to explore. It's just down our hill, not too far, and they played for hours. When they returned they had brought some MO creek wildlife with them in a couple of buckets... a minnow, 4 crawdads, and 3 huge tadpoles (I think they officially might have actually been polliwogs... but I couldn't convince my boys to stop calling them tadpoles...)

The face only a mother could love... (or most little boys)

I told you they were huge (at least much bigger than I've ever seen a tadpole be) Huston is holding it in this shot - He and Avery liked holding them (and unfortunately dropping them a couple of times...) Isaiah is a "no thank you, I'll watch" type of guy.

See the tiny legs starting to sprout on the tadpole/polliwog thingy?...

Here's the whole gang of MO wildlife adventure seekers....

And finally the bucket of crawdads. The kids were trying to convince me that they were for supper, I didn't buy that for one moment. They had also discovered down at the creek that the crawdads and tadpole/polliwogs (oh heck, lets just call them baby frogs, k?) didn't get along - so that's why it was necessary to have two buckets.

They were so interesting to look at! I don't mind critters at all so I'm one of the lucky moms of boys that like to find living things, I enjoy looking at them just as much as they do. Zach told us that the baby frogs eat algae at this stage and will switch over to insects and such once they lose their tails... and I believe him, he's a boy scout - and his dad is a conservation agent...

Meanwhile, later on that week...

See this frog?

It owes us it's life. Saturday morning Steven's dad came by to give us a teeny bit more mulch to put around our trees and landscaping. While they were working on that, the gang spotted a fairly good sized something -- a something that most people would not like to ever find around their house (and that included my grandmother, so don't tell her that this was in our backyard!)

It was curled up around our compost bin - sunning itself... and right close to where it was hanging around was that little frog. The snake totally had it's eye on breakfast (lunchanddinner), better know as frog, but Isaiah burst into tears when I suggested that's probably what the snake was after. So as I would agree that in my own mind a frog is higher on the animal hierarchy than the snake, I agreed to shoo it out of harms way with a stick and release it to where it could roam freely (until another critter finds it).

I must say though, the snake is kinda pretty, but still not as cute as a frog.

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