Monday, April 23, 2007

In Search of Frogs

Well, we didn't catch any frogs today, much to Trevelyn's dismay, but we had a lovely adventure, and saw some beautiful water birds.

On the way down we discussed what we'd most like to see today. Trev wanted to see dragonflies, Salamanders, and bullfrogs. I said frogs, some water birds, and dragonflies would be nice. Eric got a tiny bit miffed at Trev as he was trying to express to him that we'd not be seeing any salamanders today, for in our area they live in mountainous lakes, and they (the lakes) are still frozen. Trev just didn't buy it, and dh was somewhat offended that he'd not take his word for it.
Birds and reptiles are Eric's Scientific Spe-ci-ality.

It was much too cold today for dragonflies, and we didn't catch any frogs, but I did see one, though Trev didn't see it, and I got a lovely picture of this Snowy Egret, and I got to see a couple Great Blue Heron's.

Also there were swallows and blackbirds.

When we first arrived I was in heaven for a moment for the smell of the willows. That has to be one of my favorite things.

For our adventure we headed south into the next county, Eric is from there, and knows the land well enough to know where to find the frogs and tadpoles. We are certain we have some closer to home, but for some reason I forgot to ask around to see if anyone had any ideas of where we might find some slimy friends of the green sort.

Eric has promised many frog hunts this year, along with issuing a warning that it may take us a few tries to actually catch one.

Last year Eric caught for us a salamander out of a high country lake, which was an unexpected but very welcome surprise, and so now we expect him to be our valiant knight for every adventure!

Several years ago we took a backpack trip into the Uintah's, and there were so many beautiful lakes and ponds, many of them equipped with lily pads. Surely where there are lily pads there are frogs nearby! It was the first time I had seen such things. I fully intend to take my children up there this year to do lots of exploring and just basking in the beauty that this glorious earth has to offer.

We did some research before we headed out for our adventure today. We knew that we wanted to catch some tadpoles to bring home and observe for a couple of weeks until we took them back to the same place where we caught them. It was a bit difficult tracking down the pertinent laws and information, but I learned that though American Bullfrogs are protected since they are a nuisance (they kill native amphibians) you can catch them, but you either have to put them back immediately, or else you have to kill them.
Now should they have been protected species because they were sensitive or endangered, of course I would have followed the law. But I was absolutely unwilling to kill the bullfrogs (at least on purpose), and so intended to disregard the law. We would just make sure to put them back exactly where we found them.
But, as you know, no need to worry about that, as we did not actually catch any.

Daddy came out of the pond smelling of swamp gas. He was kind of skittish going in, I think he half expected to be sucked into vortex of quicksand. I'm teasing him and he'll probably kill me for saying so, but it's really true.

It was a great day, much more relaxed and at ease than yesterday.

Life is good.

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