Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hairier than I thought.

I took this picture out on our back porch one evening a few weeks ago. When I took a look at the image a few minutes later, I was surprised at how the flash made the individual hairs pop out in the image as compared to my observation.

The next morning I got an even better first-hand view when I walked out my back door and had it light on my face while wrapping it's web around my head. It loomed large in my LED headlamp for a split second before it made an audible "thud" against my nose.

I was able to dislodge it into a bush without harming either of us. Glad I found it before my wife. If she survived the encounter she would still be in therapy.

The Horror. . .

This will be the last tadpole update for 2009. When we started the process back in August things seemed to proceed at an orderly pace: tadpoles grew legs, then arms, their tails finally shrinking to nothing before they decided that it was time to venture from the tank so they could eat something else besides boiled spinach.

Every morning for a number of weeks I would ferry 5 or so small frogs from our back porch down to a patch of ferns at the back edge of our property.

After a few weeks of no activity in the tank, it was time to clean up and put things away for next year. Much to my surprise I found the layer of oak leaves in the bottom of the tank was not completely vacant.

There were:
-3 tadpoles - one with legs stubs, and two without any at all.
-One very skinny frog with a weird shriveled tail.
-One frog with a bloated leg.
-The pictured example with entire-body-bloat.

I guess out of such a large sample the occurrence of some with less than desirable traits are to be expected. We all can't be winners.

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