Blog Second Annual Tadpole and Frog Rescue at F.E.R.N.

Living Mandala of Tadpoles. Photo Credit Bonnie Abrams

Sing along to the tune of Get Along Little Dogies.

Verse: As Ari was draining his pool one spring morning

Bonnie couldn’t get to her tadpole rescue buckets because her daughter in law just moved in, so she brought a halloween bucket she could reach.  It made for a brilliant sight.

He spied thousands of tadpoles all swimming around

Margot Fass and Iyanna Rogers dipping for tadpoles. Photo Credit Bonnie Abrams

Many thanks to Iyanna Rogers for joining Bonnie and me on short notice to join us as we went back to Ari Freedman-Weiss’ gorgeous 75 acre property. Also, we were delighted to have Sheila Mumford join us with her nearly 4 year old grandson Oliver.  She reported that they both had tons of fun, and so it appeared.

He called up A Frog House ‘cause we’d be a mourning

Green Frog and Toad conferring over tadpole nursery. Photo Credit Bonnie Abrams

Because it was earlier in the year, there were fewer grown frogs and more tadpoles.  We found a male and female and a juvenile green frog, one grey tree frog, and one toad.  That these two were attracted to this site at the same time was quite amazing to us.

If for those future froggies no new home was found.

Ari from our vantage point on the trailer. Photo Credit Bonnie Abrams

Ari’s land includes natural features such as hills, forest, meadows, a pond, creek and wetlands. As the site of the former Markus Park (Camp Sisol), which Ari purchased from the JCC, it also includes multiple indoor and outdoor facilities. FERN (standing for Fitness, Enrichment, Recreation and Nature) Center is now incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization, and Ari is hopefully launching phase 1 of his program, which will include a membership-based outdoor recreational facility focused around the existing swimming pool, in need of complete renovation.  He would love people to get involved in any way they want to and can, and we will certainly be back.  You can see his business plan here.

Chorus: Ribbit splash don’t croak

Bonnie having the time of her life riding to vernal waters with me on Ari’s trailer. Photo Credit Margot Fass

We rejected the first offered site in the creek, because we needed an area where the land would dry.  Clearly we would not have been able to drive to the second possibility, so we hopped on Ari’s platform behind his tractor.  Bonnie has been with A Frog House almost since the beginning.  She grew up in the Bronx, and always wanted to be a country girl, and didn’t mind that the huge tires would be splashing her with mud. I grew up in Vermont, so am naturally a country girl. The fresh smell of mint and camomile as we bumped along was exhilarating.

Come along little froggies

Tire tracks in the wetland, future home for some tadpoles. Photo Credit Bonnie Abrams

It was definitely squishy in there.  We didn’t take the tadpoles to the nearby vernal pond, which would have required going through long grass and poison ivy, with us in our sandals!

We asked Ari to drain the pool for the next day enough so that we could wade in the deep end to get the rest of the tadpoles in the muck.  The first thing I did, thinking I was stepping on a grate, was step in a hole and do a belly flop in the water.  Fortunately, Lindsay Graham called me just at that moment and I discovered that my phone was still functional.

We’re trying to save you from dry’n up in the foam.

Green Frog just asking to be rescued.  Photo Credit Bonnie Abrams

This is a male, as you can tell from the large tympanum.  We have had only green frogs and toads at our own little pond and in the grass at A Frog House, but alas, the green frogs are gone this year.  Once they came, we always had at least 2, and at one time 13, but we are devasted and mystified about what happened. One of our volunteers said he spotted parasites in the water. We will need to get our Chemistry graduate, Thompson Marinho, to investigate as well.

Ribbit Splash Don’t Croak

Green Frog rescued. Photo Credit Bonnie Abrams

Just down the hill from the swimming pool there was a perfect little creek, where we put the male and female green frogs.  There is a natural pool nearby, and we hope they find their ideal spot.

Come along little froggies

Grey Tree Frog on vertical wall of peeling swimming pool.  Photo Credit Bonnie Abrams

This frog was nearly 8 feet up the wall at the deep end, but the wall curves inward at the top and we were afraid s/he would not make it, because there were many dead frogs or toads in the water. The color green indicates that s/he is a juvenile. S/he made a surprise leap in the water when we tried to net it from the wall, but we didn’t give up.  A former pool manager from Markus Park drove up to see what we were up to, and announced that in the past the tads and frogs just went through the pump.

A nice vernal pool will be your new home.

Grey Tree Frog approaching a birch.  Photo Credit Bonnie Abrams

Now the frog won’t have to trudge across or climb up the desiccated floor or wall of the pool, and hopefully will live happily ever after.  As we hope you will as well!  

Come Along Little Froggies
by Bonnie Abrams

As Ari was draining his pool one spring morning
He spied thousands of tadpoles all swimming around
He called up A Frog House ‘cause we’d be a mourning
If for those future froggies no new home was found

Chorus
Ribbit splash don’t croak
Come along little froggies
We’re trying to save you from dry’n up in the foam
Ribbit splash don’t croak
Come along little froggies
A nice vernal pool will be your new home

So we gathered our nets and buckets and sunscreen
And scooped up those tadpoles and a few grown frogs too
We transported them to a safe watery ravine
Where they could grow up and eat things that bug you

Chorus
Ribbit splash don’t croak
Come along little froggies
We’re trying to save you from dry’n up in the foam
Ribbit splash don’t croak
Come along little froggies
A nice vernal pool will be your new home