31 October 2005

Dart Frog Baby Update

Our lone tadpole is growing daily. He/she is now on a diet of powdered algae and seems to be doing well. We also have 5 new eggs. One of the eggs looks a little fungus-sy but it is too soon to tell, so we wait. Here are pictures of the tadpole and the five new eggs. Way to go D. azureus!

Our five new dart frogs eggs are contained in separate petri dishes with a methylene blue solution to help curb fungal growth. We have also tried a tannic acid solution which is said to reduce fungus and mold as well. If you look reaaal close you can see the black spot in each dish that is the egg.

19 October 2005

Conversation with a student

Who: Student "D"
What: Conversation the last 2 minutes of class about him always taking my stuff. Pencils (which he uses), magnets (that he steals), stickers (which he sticks to the desk). Jeez, you wouldn't think he is a junior in high school!
When: Wednesday, October 12
Where: Science 2 class at the high school

ME: Did you take my magnets?
D: yes
ME: Why?
D: I just moved them.
ME: Why?
D: I just thought they would be cool right there. (stuck to the light switch)
ME: Could you not touch my stuff?
D: What?
ME: You always mess with my stuff each day. You take staples to chew on, pencils, you stick stickers all over the desk after I ask you not to....
D: Whats the big deal?
ME: Do I come to your house and mess with all your stuff?
D: You don't know where I live.
ME: Its in your records.
D: Oh
ME: Would you want me to come and mess with all your stuff?
D: (blank stare)
C: (My other student) ooooo, she got you there!
ME: Alright then.

This is just one of hundreds of mind numbing conversations I have with teenagers every day.

13 October 2005

A Tail Is Born

Here is the tadpole today. You can just see the tail that has formed over the round egg shaped body. When I get close enough I can see little external gills on him. When the minute, slender body formed it looked like a piece of debris or a stick had fallen onto the top of the egg. I almost talked myself into picking it off with some forceps because I didn't want it to "infect" the egg and cause it to mold or something. I didn't pick it off and decided to wait until the next day. Imagine how glad I was when I looked at it the next day and the darn thing wriggled and swam around in there. At that point I was pretty sure it wasn't a twig or something. So, this led me to name it. What do you think of "Twiggy"? I am open to other suggestions. Perhaps something South American? These frogs are found in Suriname, does anyone know a good Suriname name??

12 October 2005

It's a ........tadpole!

Yippee!!! Our Blue Poison Dart Frogs laid eggs. Out of four eggs, one didn't grow a fungus. The other three developed a fuzzy, grey substance around them and didn't develop. The one that made it has just grown into a tadpole! Doug brought by some algae to feed the tadpole when it hatches. In another week it should be free swimming and on its way to becoming a froglet.

Here is a picture of the egg in the culture dish before it started to look like a tadpole. I will try to get a picture of it tomorrow so you can see the little tadpole body that has formed. Ahhh, so cute. Don't you think?

And here are the proud parents. The female is on the left and one of the two possible male parents is on the right. We have two males and I am not sure who followed her into the "coco-hut" to fertilize the eggs.

Here is a coco-hut like the one we have. Except ours doesn't say "Coco-hut" in neon green across the top. We put a petri dish of water under the hut and the female goes in to lay the eggs in the water. Then a male will follow her in and fertilize the eggs. Then badda bing badda bang *!* you have baby frogs! I love frogs. They are the best. If you want to know why I like frogs you can read my post on it.

11 October 2005

Killer Findings

A scientist at the armed forces research lab recently was able to map the genome of the 1918 flu. He went through the MILES of stored tissue samples from deceased soldiers and found two that had died from the flu. From the samples encased in a wax block he was able to locate and map the genome of the virus. He used new techniques that were then used by another scientist who had found frozen bodies in Alaska that had died of the same flu. Previously this Alaska scientist was unable to map the genome and when he heard of the armed forces method he went back and took another tissue sample, only now the bodies had decomposed a lot more. Still, he was able to get the sample and analyze the virus. It is similarities between the 1918 flu and today's bird flu that may allow us to find ways to treat people for this deadly flu. Way to go science geeks. I just love science. You can read the full article about this here.

Under Pressure

Today I have a grant application due. At the Nature Center we are trying to build a Nature Exchange and I am hoping to receive some of the funding for this project through this grant. It really is a full time job grant writing and I already have two full time jobs, so grant writing is always pressure time for me.

08 October 2005

What Animal Should You Date - Quizzy thing

I took this QUIZ to find out what type of animal I should date. I was a Whooping Crane. That is perfect because M (My sweet Matthew) I bet is a crane too! I like this quiz MUCH BETTER than the cute animal quiz, I still say I am NOT a pony!

ME- Whooping Cranes are total romantics. When they come of age they find a mate, take him/her bird dancing, fall in bird love, have a bird baby, and stay together for the rest of their entire lives. As they grow old together, they share responsibility for the wee baby crane, learn each other's strengths and weaknesses, and get to know each other better and better. And yet they still stay coupled up, year in and year out. In good times and in bad. In sickness and in health. For richer or for poorer. Awww.

07 October 2005

Snake Story - Part II , Tabitha goes home

The next morning I called the radio station to see if they would put the boa constrictor I found on the Lost Pet News. Within an hour I heard from J.C., a former student of mine. He said he knew whose snake I found. Some guy lost his snake two doors down from where I found it. I tell J.C. to have the guy come by. This all happened on a Friday so on Monday morning the guy showed up all worried about his snake. Apparently, he lost it a couple of weeks ago. It got out of the cage in his house and got out of the house. This is rare because most snakes go to the nearest warm place in the house when they get out of their cages. For a snake to get out of the house is a little strange, especially a snake that is 4 feet long and 6 inches around. The snake had been on the loose ever since. It appears the snake left this guy's house and went out into the woods behind the neighborhood. He must have got hungry or cold and came up into the houses where he found a nice warm spot on an old lady's back porch. You can read a Snake Story to find out how I got the snake. While I had him over the weekend he did defecate in the enclosure. So, he must have been eating something during those two weeks. Anybody missing a cat?? hee hee That is just my sick herp humor. Actually, from the looks of it, he had not eaten much more than a mouse or frog. I asked the guy a few questions and it seemed clear it was really his snake. I gave it back to him and he promised to make sure the cage was escape proof this time. And that is how Tabitha found her way home.

06 October 2005

A Snake Story

I got a call last week. A frantic, elderly woman says, "There is a snake on my back porch on the lawn furniture. Can you come get it?"

Me, irritated that people think I sit here all day waiting to play Crocodile Hunter. Sheesh. "Um, no ma'am. I can't close the Nature Center right now and come out there. What kind of snake is it?"

She goes on to beg me to come, saying she doesn't know what kind of snake it is. She just knows it is BIG. Something about the tone in her voice when she sys the word BIG lets me know this may not be your average garter snake.

So, my curiosity gets the best of me. (That and me deep, hidden desire to be the Crocodile Hunter.) I drive out to the house with my transport tub and snake hook. Better prepared that not I always say. I get out of the car and see an elderly gentleman walking from the back yard to the front yard with a shovel in his hand. Hmmm, I wonder what the shovel is for?? I say hello as I see his wife coming up behind him. She looks so relieved to see me. I say something corny about having a snake for company this weekend. No one else laughs but me. They take me to the back yard. She points at her lawn furniture and says, "There IT is!"

And, there it was.

A 4 foot long South American Boa Constrictor. I take the snake hook and nudge the snake. No sudden movement in the snake so it appears it is safe to handle. I unwrap the snake from around the chair and table and load it into the tub. I haul it back to the car. The couple say thanks and I tell them it was no problem. I was happy to help. The sound in that lady's voice told me she needed me to come out there and so I am glad I did.


Now I have another Boa Constrictor! What the heck am I going to do with this one.

To be continued...

04 October 2005


Today we take a departure from the usual focus on the animals in my life. No snake story or tale of a wild high school science student. Sorry, but don't worry, every day is a new adventure and there is never a dull moment in my life.

My newest find. Which will probably be old to the rest of the country, but come on, I live in Del Norte County! We still get mail delivered by horseback. What? You think I'm joking?

I have recently taken a liking to Happy Bunny paraphenalia. They are so to the point and silly, I love it. With statements like these, how can you NOT laugh.

"It's cute how you think I'm listening to you."

And my personal favorite

"Is ass your real name?"

I found these Happy Bunny shirts on this website. They sell Happy Bunny shirts, stickers, key chains, back packs etc. My daughter is begging me for this stuff, but at 9 I think she is too young. I have to admit though, the stuff is pretty funny. I don't think I can wear Happy Bunny shirts because I worry I might see one of my students while I am wearing it and I always feel like I am in "teacher" mode. The website has lots of shirts I wish I could wear including these new Sweetypuss shirts. My boyfriend wouldn't appreciate them, but they are so funny! So here is one for you to check out, let me know what you think about it.

"Boys are strong. Bury them deep."

I also found ecards on the website. I am going to send one to my sister right now. I know she'll get a big laugh out of it. O.k, I have to go and see if I can find a sweetypuss keychain now.......