Saturday, May 23, 2009
Short tail feathers and all
Hard as I tried I just couldn't get the twins to sit still long enough to get a picture of them. They were gone today. Most likely in the Oaks across the street from me. It is a nice little woodland area and just the right distance from the bird feeder in the back yard. My poor little dog is really going to miss them too. She would like nothing better than to taste those tender thighs under those pale blue feathers. Spring is always full of the screech of new mothers and the hassle of getting those babies up and flying.
Last spring I was thrilled to find a large mass of frog eggs in the dogs water bucket. I was not about to let those go with out intervention. I dug out an old aquarium that once harbored gold fish and scrubbed it and filled it with some beach glass and some well cleaned gravel. I gently scooped up the mass of frog eggs and put them into their new home. A minimum of five times a day I checked my new nursery. I fussed over and tenderly cared for them until the first one hatched. It was so exciting to see that little tadpole swimming around. Every one in the neighborhood knew I was a new mother. I hatched roughly 100 little tadpoles and encouraged them on a daily basis to grow strong and grow hind legs. Pretty soon we had an aquarium full of little bitty Pacific Tree Toads. The largest being about a half inch long. I was thrilled. I boiled lettuce every day to feed them until they started trying to get out of the nursery. I put blades of plants into the aquarium for the little darlings to crawl out on. Every day there were fewer and fewer little tree toads, but I didn't see an abundance of them in the garden. I was a tad puzzled. Then my puzzled question was answered with precision. A really fat Aquatic Garter Snake!! As fast as my precious foster children were leaving the nursery that snake was gobbling them up. The truth of nature is a harsh one. This year I still have the Garter Snake and not one little croker can be found. If I had of written this fairy tale I would have bunches of little crokers and a happy Garter snake.........but, alas.
The pictures are of Trout and a nice young Sturgeon. They swim around in the river here. Now, you know why I don't swim in the river too! I managed to get the photos of them at our Museum which has a tank with native fish.