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Lens-Artist Photo Challenge: Unexpected. This tadpole of ours.

The topic of sharing something “unexpected” fit right into a picture taken 3 weeks ago. Thank you Anne-Christine for hosting this challenge.

An “unexpected” package arrived in the mailbox. It was the size of an upright tissue box and felt like it held nothing but popcorn inside.

I brought the box in and wondered out loud what it could be. My kids immediately dropped what they were doing and asked, “Is it a package for me?”

The package held a clear cube-shaped box with a plastic bag of water in it. This was our mail-order tadpole for our homeschooling science study this term.

Our new tadpole

This tadpole was specifically bred in a Florida laboratory, and it has special characteristics: its tadpole body is transparent; and when it becomes a frog, it will live entirely in water and only surface to breathe. This specific breed is called Pipadae found in Africa and South America. The facts sheet clearly explains that these frogs have never been to those places.

Our tadpole may have went through a quicker metamorphosis due to our overzealous attempt to make it happy with natural rain sounds. We learned that tadpoles like the sound of rain, which can be mimicked by slowly pouring spring water into the tank. As I did more research about this, I learned that this sound hastens metamorphosis.

We can’t tell if it’s a boy or a girl yet. If it makes a sound, it’s a boy. If the body size is larger, it’s a female; although I have no basis for comparison. I’ll just have to wait for that sound or lack of it.

And as I was writing this post, I learned something totally unexpected. Pipidae is the family name for the species African Clawed Frog. It is an invasive and very aggressive species that like to eat anything in its path and cannot be released into our local waters. If you can’t care for it anymore, it could be sent back to the supplier or to a pet store for proper…you know….and environmentally friendly farewell. Also, it could live 5-15 years. Gulp. Knowing beforehand that this species cannot be released into the local waters and its long life-span would’ve been helpful information.

You learn something new and unexpected everyday. With all the surprising facts we’re learning, it’s more likely that the kids will remember this frog life-cycle and frog-care study. Also, they enjoy feeding it and interacting with it, but cleaning the tank is mainly my task. .

p.s. I was going to show a picture of Ribbit metamorphosed into a frog, but its water is too cloudy and not camera-ready. I’ll have to take a picture right after replacing the water.

Categories: Homeschool Adventures learning with kids

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Welcome to my blog! My name is Esther and I'm so happy you are here. I'm an avid nature photographer and a daydreaming thinker. My posts revolve around photos of nature's beauty, homeschooling adventures with my 2 kids, sporadic reflections on my child's heart condition, Bible reading reflections, gardening feats, and other mish mash things. Hopefully you'll leave encouraged, pensive, or smiling at the simple things of life. Thank you for stopping by and hope you'll find some interesting posts to read!

8 replies

  1. What an unexpected – lovely – surprise! A tadpole in the post?! I love tadpoles and watch how they grow and develop into full blown frogs. It is a wonder, just in front of your eyes. Sorry that it is invasive and you can not let it back into nature! When my children were small, we used to catch some in the forest every spring and build a home for them in our house. Then we fed them with ordinary fish food for aquarium fishes, and saw them develop. You children will love it! But we released them back into nature again, back to where they came from. I would like to think some more of the little ones survived because of this. Good luck with your tadpole watching!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a lot of fun to watch it grow and see its personality develop. We try to do a life cycle study every year: so far we did butterflies and ladybugs. I think tadpole will be our last life cycle study. Kids talk about a baby chick, but that’s just unrealistic. When I crack eggs, they wonder if a chick will pop out. Lol
      How fun that you and your kids caught them in the forest!! Just the catching process in that natural environment must’ve been an experience in itself.
      Thank you for sharing and for your kind words!! Happy to have learned your tadpole story.


  2. LOL – well, that’s a twist to long-term frog loving commitment! I bought Marimo balls that can’t be tossed into local streams either. I’m sure your frog will grow faster and bring more excitement to the kiddos! They’re lucky you found this fun adventure for them!!


    1. It is a surprising twist! I had no idea what I was getting into. Since my last post, we’ve upgraded to a tank and got a snail buddy for it. Last night I thought Ribbit ate the snail because it was nowhere to be found. It was discovered by my son today under the anemone accessory. Elliot told me to apologize to Ribbit because I falsely accused it of eating its friend. The things kids make you do!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL – that’s so awesome! You’re such a great mom and you’re teaching them wonderful things like caring for others and empathy and how things in nature grow. xx


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