Sunday, May 30, 2004

A Frog In My Office

Today was a day spent with nature in mind.

My birthday is tomorrow (well, today as I look at the clock), and my wife has given me a gift certificate at a local pet store so that I can finally get our fish tank set up after our move.

It may not sound like a big deal to some but I enjoy animals, and fish are one of those nice things to have in the home. They are quiet, calming to watch, and fun to experience with the whole family.

We had traveled to several pet stores, looking at all manner of critter from dogs and kittens to hamsters and ferrets. It turned into a fun outing with the kids, and they all got to admire many different creatures while Dad researched salt water verses freshwater fish.

It’s not important to the story, but we eventually decided on a freshwater tank once again. Just in case you were wondering about this burning question.

A freshwater tank could be set up quickly, and the kids seemed to like the variety of our local freshwater selection over the saltwater. Although I had worked in a pet shop for four years while in high school, I never ventured into the saltwater fish hobby.

Fish have always been fun to me, and I have wanted an outdoor pond as well. In fact, my wife bought me one while we lived in Alaska! I had a small wine-barrel type pond and a few Koi. Now I have my sight set on a great location in the backyard for a pond that will be a step up from the wine-barrel. Perhaps I will take some pictures to share with you all on the building progress.

Another project for this weekend is to grow these creatures from the dinosaur age called, “Triops”. They are some crablike things that are supposed to live for 70 to 90 days. We fill the little plastic tank up with distilled watter, drop the conditioner in, and the Triop eggs and we watch nature grow, live and die within a short time span. Should be a hoot.

Do you believe in coincidence? While at the pet shops we also checked out turtles, chameleons, snakes, toads and frogs. The frogs really attracted the girls attention, so we lingered there for a while looking at various little frogs and this really huge African toad. He looked like a fresh cow-patty with eyes.

Tonight, as I was laying there in bed trying to go to sleep, I had a sudden urge to get a drink of water.

Quietly I crept out of the room so as not to wake my wife since she has to get up at 3:00am and go to work. Glass of water in hand, thirst quenched, I wandered down to my office in the basement to check mail and pass some time while I rehydrated myself.

As I turned on the light and looked toward my office I saw this little green thing sitting right in the middle of the office doorway. I looked and said, “Are you a real little frog?” My initial thought was that maybe the girls had a toy out or something.

No seriously. They have these little sticky frogs, and you throw them hard against the wall and they stick. For some reason that now seems a little disturbing to me.

Of course the frog just sat there and didn’t say a word. He was trying to look very inconspicuous since he was just caught cruising through our basement in the middle of the night.

I determined he was a real tree frog, but how he got down in our finished basement, and in my office, I haven’t a clue.

For a tree frog he looked fairly healthy and large (as far as tree frogs go), so I scooped him up and carried him over to place in the Triops tank that was not yet filled with water and the intended occupants.

My fear was leaving him down there in the basement he would surely get squished by the kids running around playing, or in the disaster area that is my office any manner of catastrophe could befall him. So now he sits in his new temporary home, with a lid of water on the top shelf of my office bookcase.

In the morning I will enjoy showing him off to the kids, and watch as their little eyes light up with the discovery their Dad made on his midnight water run.

We will then most certainly turn to the Internet and do some research on tree frogs to determine just what type of frog he is, and how to care for him. In the end, he will probably be set free in the backyard were he can take his chances in the thriving eco system of the Henderson grounds.

Perhaps he will remain to watch the pond being built, and he will enjoy the moisture of the waterfall area, bringing his children there and telling them of his adventure in the basement of our home. How he was set free here in the backyard by a kind family, and was able to share this moment with them overlooking a beautiful waterfall near their new home.

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