Last year, when we were given a monarch butterfly chrysalise (check out August 2006 archives for a gazzillion other monarch photos from that experience!), we (meaning: I) had SO much fun watching the whole process (okay. Corynn thought it was pretty neat too. The Panda couldn't have cared less...) that I am now on the constant LOOKOUT for opportunities to be first hand observers of all different life cycles. Sometimes these opportunities just fall in your lap, other times you have to work for them.
(If you look VERY closely-maybe even click for a larger view-you can see the frog 'face' forming...but the tadpole is STILL smaller than the head of a pencil eraser.)
Like, when we were at Greenwood Furnace: I had to catch these little suckers to bring 'em home so we could watch them transform into frogs. It wasn't all that hard though, in truth. It took just enough effort to scoop up the little guys. Polywogs, or tadpoles, though they appear to move fast because of their frantically beating tails, still have other things (like water), to contend with.
They made it through the journey home (even waiting patiently in a sweltering car until our family had eaten at a local diner) and were put, along with some mud and a few leaves (after all-HOW WOULD I KNOW what little polywogs need to survive?!?), in a small dish.
Unfortunately...as of yesterday the big one died. Some sort of freakishly weird waterworm ate it up. I think. At least it LOOKED like a worm. Poor guy. He was really close to becoming a frog and being able to eat up his polywog predator. The 'little guy' is our last hope. (Or at least until we go wading in another pond/lake, river or stream!)
Here's hoping no more bizzarre creatures come to feast!!