Maybe it’s because I wasn’t looking hard enough, or maybe it’s because I have never seen them in that awkward, alien stage in between being a child and truly becoming an adult, but I have never seen tadpoles as big as my thumb until now!
Nik here, and sitting by Ye Olde Ponde at the end of a long work week, I happily noticed the fish were beginning to tear around the shallows, popping up for bugs, and then hovering as motionlessly as spaceships. I inched closer to see if I could identify what kind of fry were so prolific this season. But something about their movement—a propelled undulation—tipped me off. Then I saw the big, Martian heads, eel-like tails, and, on just a few of them, the budding idea of legs hanging about their tails.
These were bullfrog tadpoles, not the tiny, black, rubbery-looking swimmers that I caught in mason jars as a kid. I realized how fleeting these odd creatures were, in transition, so everyday is literally seen with new eyes.
Pollywogs and tinkle pinks? What kind of blog is this becoming anyway?!
But I sat on the shore and watched in serenity…for almost as hour! I began to think I finally understood why all those Hollywood stars won’t stop yakking on about their koi ponds. There were murmurings from the village children about days and days of tadpole catch-and-release missions (and a short debate of whether eating one would be a worthwhile experience…) but I was glad I saw them for myself.
The flock of kids here is accumulating new ranks as we come into Spring and the first work exhangers of the season arrive. Jody and Sandy are the newest wexers at the Milkweed Mercantile bed and breakfast, and Jody’s son, Cantrell, has been acclimating to the woods, ponds, prairies, and the local denizens.
Being the new kid in town was never a picnic for me; kids can be cruel one day and your best friend the next. Each day is truly a new one, seen through new eyes (that Beginner’s Mind jazz those Zen-folk are always yakking on about). It takes bravery, tadpole or bullfrog, to make the leap to living out here.
More workers, interns, and visitors are about to descend on our little hamlet, bringing tents and ideas and kids and expectations which will all be put through the wringer. So with those tadpole eyes that I’m trying to manifest, the summer is looking exciting and new for this community in constant transition.
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Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community and nonprofit outside Rutledge, in northeast Missouri, focused on demonstrating sustainable living possibilities. Find out more about us by visiting our website, reading our blog, or emailing us.