Frog Rescue - Complete (originally posted 8.30.08)

I live in Small Town, Texas. Actually, I live out in the county near Small Town, Texas. There are woods. And pastures. And all manner of critters, both wild and domesticated. Behind our house, we have what we fondly refer to as the pit of despair: an in-ground swimming pool. Since we bought our house in 2004, we have had to replace the pool pump three times. We are on a first name basis with the nice folks at the pool store. T keeps threatening to blow it up after the next malfunction (he's that kind of guy).

Anyhoo! Frogs. Last summer while we were gone to Colorado for three weeks, pool pump number three died. We returned home to a green lagoon teeming with wildlife. Specifically, frogs, from tadpoles on up. Hundreds of them. And mosquitoes! A 20,000 gallon vat of West Nile Virus! Yay!

I called my home-schooling friends and invited them over to catch tadpoles for a hands-on lesson of metamorphosis, then I called the pool people. They said they would send a guy out to take care of it. Imagine my surprise when I get home from the grocery store the next day to see the pit of despair has gone from swampy to foamy(!).

The pool guy had come and fixed the pump and dumped some, I don't know - Agent Orange, maybe? - in. Oh, the humanity! It was a freaking frog holocaust. I totally wig out and scoop out as many as I can and rinse the frog death off of them in the baby pool. I saved maybe a dozen or two. The rest died a terrible death there in the pool and had to be scooped out of various pool orifices. So. much. trauma.

When we returned home from Colorado this summer, the pool was, predictably, green. And this year? Giant clumps of frog spawn (eggs). So before I called the pool people, I go on a frog rescuing mission. Because I? am humanitarian (amphibitarian?).

With my tiny aquarium net, I scooped out three groups of eggs, put them in a pitcher (ew! Bring on the bleach!), and drove them to the nearest pond, which, this being the country and all, was not very far. I released them and thought my duty was done. There was much patting of my own back and congratulating myself on averting another massacre.

Then today Z and I go out for a swim. She is paddling around on her little float and says, "Look, Mama! A tiny little frog!" And so it was.

Further inspection found it to be several tiny frogs, another clump of eggs, and a pair of giant frogs getting it on in the skimmer basket. Whee! Out came the tiny net, lather, rinse repeat. I am hoping that this will be the last round of frog refugees I have to transport. But if not, I have a net.

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