Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Woodland Watercourse Adventure

When Aunt Natty asked if anyone wanted to go for a walk in the woods, my response was, "yes!" We brought buckets in case of tadpoles. I have never in my life seen a tadpole in the wild and have no idea how to find them, but it seemed a reasonable thing to do nonetheless. First we stopped a pond to see if we could see any there. There were dozens of turtles sunning themselves on logs sticking out of the water. There was also a big giant fat orange coy swimming about and a sign about not dumping your pets. We threw breadcrumbs, but the coy lazily avoided them. There were no good spots for looking for tadpoles without getting muddy. Next time we'll have to bring full fishing pants (not that we own any).We decided to try a creek for some tadpoles. We followed the stream of water from the pond under the road to a stream where we started our journey.
There were little falls all about, with bright green moss shining underneath. No tadpoles though. No spots still enough, we imagined. We continued to look, hoping to come across pools. We avoided paths completely and just followed the creek. I warned the children repeatedly that it was far too cold for falling in. They both have a tendency to either fall or wade willing into bodies of water. As we have seen frequently in past blog posts.
We peered into any place deep enough (or so we imagined) for stillness and the wriggling of half frog bodies. Aleks started to get frustrated pretty quickly.

At varying points along the trail, we would have to cross the stream or climb up the embankment to get around sections without stepping stones and too sheer banks. Bastian began seeking a way around ahead of us and nearly fell off a short little cliff and scared us to death.
A late blooming May Apple pokes his head through the blanket of leaves.
We found bigger falls too!
Trout Lilys in bloom...

I love the fiddleheads of ferns beginning their slow unfurl...

Then guess what happened? Aleks fell in the creek. We had to climb back up the embankment to find a path, which took us awhile and Aleks grumped most of the way about not finding any tadpoles. My camera's battery died (as usual), then we tried to feed the coy again, who only ignored our breadcrumbs.

On the way home, I called a naturalist about finding tadpoles who was almost no help at all, but did warn me that frogs raised in captivity can't deal with the wild because they get eaten or something. We changed Aleks into some too-small clothes from the trunk, stopped for crickets for Esteban, then ice cream for ourselves (which made us shiver in the breezy breeze). The end.

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