Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I'm a lumberpig and I'm OK

Reports recieved of damage in a vegetable patch. Note sweetcorn grazed off at base. Noted that this is third plant to be attacked. Attacks apparently coincide with guinea pigs' free-range garden time. Informant conceded that corn is guinea-pigs' favourite treat.

Suspects observed acting suspiciously; that is, they were suspicious of the investigating officer.

A young female cavy apprehended. Observed attempting to consume evidence while in custody.

Bail refused.


A red-letter day today. First, I noticed I have two comments - thankyou Ladydi and Frogdancer! One of these days I will work out how to respond.

Second, I showed the children this blog. They were fascinated, especially by the bits about themselves. Running Boy says he was not "terrified" about skin cancer. Princess Pea debated several pseudonyms before deciding she was happy with Princess Pea after all. Cheekus Weekus wanted more pictures of himself and his guinea-pig. All wanted to know why there weren;t more photos (answer: becuase I;m still wokrng out how, and half the photos I planned to post seem to have vanished fomr the hard drive.) The CFO, who is not actually a child, objected to my description of NYE before admitting it was accurate.

Finally, I have been puplished on What's That Bug and Cicadamania. Pity I can't type. I'll now go and have a Bex and a lie down to recover from all this glory.

Monday, January 4, 2010

They grow up so fast

On hatching, they were tiny specks clinging to the wall of their tub. We lost count but when there didn't seem to be any more in the spawn-jelly we think we had over sixty - not moving, not eating, just like little sticks. Sometimes, when we peered into the tub casting a shadow, they would dart briefly, but never very far and never of their own accord. We put lots of pondweed in to give them oxygen and fretted about what to feed them.

After several weeks of thawed chopped frozen lettuce (yum) we started feeding them a little bit of plant-based fish food for protein. It must have worked. They became very fat. Now when you looked at them, they would swim about in rapid panic, dive to the bottom of the tub and hide, then totally forget why they were down there and slowly, rather elegantly float to the surface to see if any food had rained down. You could see their little mouths opening and closing as they foraged and see their tiny hearts beating.

Then some grew hind legs. The kids were so excited!

And one day - a froglet. This one objected to being scooped up and hopped onto the tub wall, so it was clearly ready to leave the water. It's hard to see in the first photo, but it still has a tail trailing behind it.

The tail was almost completely absorbed after two days out of the tub.

We fretted some more about what to feed them. The kids and I made a habitat of leaves and mulch and bark hideyholes and caught the tiniest buggy things we could for their food. The froglets didn't seem to take much notice of even the crawliest bugs. I convinced myself the older froglets were getting thin and weak, so we bought a box of small crickets at a pet shop. The crickets hopped about and escaped even more than the frogs, and the frogs were terrified of them. Each time a cricket came near, the froglet would scramble away.

Yesterday Cheekus Weekus helped me release ten metamorphlings at the nursery they came from as spawn. (We checked first that this was OK.) Each one was a tiny, perfect frog with beady little golden eyes. a pretty eye-stripe and greatly varied dorsal stripes or colouration, white belly & throat and sun-sparkled greenbrown skin. We think somewhere between two and five more adventurous siblings got out the night before (my fault, I didn't secure the muslin cover well enough). Luckily they were on top of the dead dishwasher on the front porch so had a good chance of making it to the fishpond. When taken out of their travel box each of the released babies paused on CW's hand - to his great delight, because he hadn't been allowed to handle them - then hopped away into a permanent garden bed next to the water plants section of the nursery. One jump, two jumps and we couldn't see them any more.

Goodbye and good luck...and only another forty-odd to go...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

Not a big night for us - we'd planned to picnic in the King's Domain Gardens then see the family fireworks in town. But the weather was too hot for movement of any kind, so I put together a salady dinner which we finished just before the rain hit. This was about the time we would have been in our possie waiting for the fireworks so we were pretty glad we'd stayed at home. The CFO fell asleep about 10 pm and didn't emerge until dawn 2010, but the kids managed to stay up to see in the New Year (Cheekus Weekus fell asleep 2 nanoseconds past midnight and had to be carried to bed; at 11:50 Running Boy announced that he was going to spend "the rest of the year" lying on the sofa and appeared to be trying not to get caught shutting his eyes. Princess Pea was very sensible about the whole thing - at five-to she said she was going to bed because she was tired, but changed her mind when she found out how close it was to the next year.)

The four of us watched the Sydney fireworks on TV - yah boo sucks Channel 9 for not televising anything local - ate chocolates, played Junior Scrabble, squabbled, all the usual.

This year I did a symbolic or token or propitiatory sample of all of the things I hope I will manage to do well, or at least do, in 2010. I cleaned one bathroom; mended a pair of trousers; knitted a bit; tidied up a little; texted friends; drank good champagne; did some situps and pushups; had an idea for a work project; played games with the kids; handfed a guinea pig; put up the Christmas tinsel (again) after it fell down (again); invented a salad; and found a cyclamen, which I thought had been killed when the new fence went up, putting out new leaves. May 2010 allow you to do all the things you hope to do.