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Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Giant frogs, Giant frogs...back to you!"

A sign of a healthy ecosystem is the presence and health of amphibians.  I learned that in college.  
If this statement is still true, and I currently have no information to the contrary, we must have a VERY healthy ecosystem here on the farm.

There has been large numbers of frogs on the farm for the past four years.  They provide endless hours of entertainment for all of us.

The chickens go wild when a frog gets in the portable pens.  Think combination Tag and Hot Potato as they chase and run with a frog in their beaks, or pieces of frog in their beaks.  It is a riot to watch!!

Duke loves to chase them.  Through the garden, pouncing, it doesn't matter.  People often ask me how I can garden with small children.  The three of them on their worst day don't do the damage that dog does.  He has never dug a hole in his life, he just thinks that my gardens are his personal beds and play spaces.  He doesn't give me the time of day until I set foot in the garden and then he's my best buddy.  Grrrrr... (that's me, not the dog)
The only reason I tolerate his presence at all is that he's so good with my kids.  I love him for that.

Where was I??  Oh yes, frogs...

We have all sizes and colors.  Some green, some brown.  Some small, some large.  Some gigantic.

I'm not squeamish around frogs, I find them fascinating.  Did you know that a frog can travel up to three miles in a day?  They can!   You may be asking, "Annie, how did they find this out?"  They tied a thread to the leg of the frog.  I'm not kidding...

All summer there has been a huge frog living in our kale patch, I'd see him every Thursday morning when we harvest.  I often catch frogs for the kids so that they can touch, see and watch them up close.  But I don't want to catch that great-big-one, he's just too big!!!  He's bigger than my hand!

The past few days the mornings have been quite cool which makes the cold-blooded amphibians in the neighborhood a bit sluggish.  We found a BIG one on the driveway trying to warm up on the gravel.  The kids were pretty excited to see such a big one.  (And mom was excited that she didn't have to catch that monster!)

Kiddo1 is protecting the frog from Duke who really could not have cared less because the frog wasn't jumping and then it just isn't any fun.  

Giant frogs, good for hours of entertainment...who needs TV??

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