Saturday, January 16, 2010

Obsessed with Poison

Nate spent the afternoon in a young boy's paradise.

First, we picked up his buddy Q, and, armed with a backpack full of zip-lock bags and a net, we headed off to the local pond.

It was a grey day, threatening rain, but it was still a lot of fun.

Usually, the pond is about eight feet deeper that it was today. Here, look at this:

Ordinarily (or perhaps I should say "in the past") the water has been up to nearly the top of that pipe underneath the boys. There is the sound of a pump, though, so I'm thinking that some water-department smarty-pants is realizing that we are on the cusp of a series of major winter storms, and all our neighbourhood's storm drains run directly into this pond, before hurtling down the hill to run underneath a shopping center, and hitting the San Francisco Bay at full volume. So perhaps it's a pre-emptive strike.

Our mission was to see if there were tadpoles. I suppose I forgot that even though I go outside without a jacket most days, it's still not TECHNICALLY spring, and there wasn't a tadpole or a peeper to be seen (or heard). But we did managed to catch two itty-bitty fish in the net, and I managed to do it without having a near-death experience, although it was close for a few minutes there. Who knew that mud and slick-shoes could be such a potentially deadly combination. Fortunately, *I* was the one with the camera skills, and there is no photographic evidence of the slapstick.

What's not to love about an afternoon piddling around at the pond, though?

Loaded down with two fishies and a snail, we headed home.

And then we picked up Kelly from a play-date, and headed off to PetSmart.


The last time I'd been in the store, there were three toads, and a tadpole. This time? There were dark fire belly toads, there were lighter ones. There were brown ones, and green ones, and yellowish-green ones. And the tadpole was still there.

Decisions, decisions... (ooh! You can even see the tadpole in the far right of this photo down here!)

The boys eventually settled on a smaller version of the green one, seen above. Although there was much hollering about How Much Fun! it would be to have a tadpole. But the Petsmart dude said that the tadpole had been in the store for an age, and there was no telling how long it would take for it to metamorphosize.

The boys named him/her.

Meet "Poison".

Also, say hello to the crickets, who are dumber than a box of rocks, apparently, and crawled right into Poison's hidey-hole. Good thing Poison was still a bit disoriented, and didn't realize his supper was crawling over his head.

For the first few hours, Poison didn't move much. But Kelly's keeping a running commentary about his motions, and in the last half hour, he's left his hidey-hole, waddled around on the rocks, and gone for TWO swims.

For more Late Breaking Poison News, stay tuned to this channel.

Now I'd better go put the kids to bed, and then take some more toad glamour shots.

Holy smokes. COOLER than I thought. I just went in with Ken to check on Poison, and while we were peering into his cage, and commenting on how incredibly brain-dead the crickets are...


Ken and I both jumped back, it was such a sudden and surprising thing.

Honestly, I could watch that All Day Long!

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