Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Spackle Frog and the 'Poles

We're still recovering from Tropical Storm Fay and part of our recovery involves Farmer B scoping the outside of the house for cracks in the stucco. The "experts" on TV said that most of the minor house flooding in Central FL caused by T.S. Fay was from rain coming in through cracks in the stucco of people's homes. So with three more tropical systems in the Atlantic heading westward, ever-responsible Farmer B decided that all of our stucco cracks must be filled immediately with stucco spackle. He'd been out there awhile when he came in and told me that a tree frog was sitting in one of the stucco cracks and that he couldn’t figure out how to get him out. I told him to just pull him out and toss him in the swampy grass where he could hop off and find another home. Farmer B agreed and went back outside.

Then he came in again and said that it worked and that the frog was free and he spackled over the crack. But then another frog poked his head out - a spackle-covered frog. Apparently there were two frogs in there. So I grabbed my wellies and a yellow bucket and ran outside to de-spackle the frog. Farmer B managed to pull it out and into the bucket and then tossed the bucket to me. The poor thing was covered in spackle - white gooey sticky spackle. I don't have any pictures of this because my first instinct was to wash him off and not grab the camera.

I washed him off and let him sit in a little puddle of water in the bucket for a few minutes to help clean off his skin.

He was not hopping especially fast when I put him on the ground to stretch his spackle-covered legs, so hopefully he was just a bit scared.

I managed to completely de-spackle him and rinse him off and he looked good as new. I hope he recovers and finds his froggy friend from the crack-home they enjoyed before the spackle-incident.

On a tadpole note, we have moved the tadpoles into a large Styrofoam cooler. I am aware of how eco-unfriendly that sounds, but the cooler contained some food products that came in the mail as a birthday present for Farmer B, so at least we're finding a way to reuse the Styrofoam box, right? The water the tadpoles were swimming in was very dark water. In Florida we have tannic water - this refers to darkened water dyed from the tannin in local leaves. It's clean enough water, but looks a bit murky and is perfect for gators. I filled up a few inches of the cooler with tap water and then left it in the sun for 24 hours so that all the chlorine and other toxins in the water would evaporate into the air from the sun's heat. Then I dumped the bucket of tadpoles in their tannic water into the clear water of the Styrofoam container… so they'd still have some of their own familiar water.

We've been feeding them boiled lettuce and they seem to love it. I read online that tadpoles love lettuce, so that's what we're sticking with for now. We don't have any rocks or "land" in the container yet because none of the tadpoles have sprouted legs so far.

Oh and yesterday - Labor Day - I made it out to the garden to see how things have recovered now that the soil is starting to dry out. It ain't pretty. More to come.

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