Saturday, May 23, 2020

Hot and Snowy with a Chance of Tadpoles by Kathryn Hills #RomanceGems


Hard to believe it’s Memorial Day Weekend—the unofficial kickoff to summer in the USA. Yet, recently we had snow. That’s New England for you! When I first moved here many years ago, someone shared the adage… “If you don’t like the weather just wait a minute.” And, it’s true. Spring is particularly riotous with bone-chilling mornings and hot summer-like afternoons. In between it is anyone’s guess what you will get. Super-hard to dress in the old days when I worked in a big office and not at home. These days, I just pour the coffee and shake my head at what is going on outside the window.

Being home more than ever in 2020, Mr. H and I were busy prepping gardens early, only to have recurring bouts of frost, snow, and heavy rain. Even tornado warnings and hail last week. Jeez. Yet, I’m always excited when typical springtime weather rolls around. I think trees in New England—and other places with changing seasons—work extra hard at looking beautiful. There were two sunny days when the maples and red oaks on our wooded property were awash with pink and light green budding leaves. Gorgeous against a clear blue sky! Cool breezes, tiny wildflowers, and no bugs yet… Ahh…

All this “blooming” in May is not without setbacks. Achoo! If you are like me, pretty blossoms make your eyes itch, and you sneeze. Then, there are the creatures. With three crazy dogs (all hound breeds – what was I thinking?!!) I am constantly running interference for chipmunks and squirrels. Sleigh bells on our doors, once used for puppy training, now serve as warnings to any rodent in the yard. LOOK OUT, INCOMING! Jeez again.

There was that one year though...when a new sound entered the yard. A chirping sound, almost tropical. “Hmm… Do you know what that is, Mr. H?” “Nope,” the man of few words said and kept chopping wood. That was the same year the pump for our above ground pool died, and we had to delay opening until way into June. By then, that weird chirping sound had hatched THOUSANDS of tadpoles in the water on the cover of our pool. I discovered them, hiding beneath leaves in the murky mess, on the day we were all set to open. I did not say “Jeez” that day. Think more colorful and cover your kid’s ears.

You see, we Hills are nature lovers, and the last thing we were going to do was kill thousands of baby frogs so we could swim for a few short summer weeks. But what the heck do you do with them…growing in hundreds of gallons of slimy pool cover water?

We tried catching them. There were too many. Syphoning came next, and it worked a bit. Now, we had a smaller puddle of wigglers. These attempts played out over a very long week. Of course, we wanted to save them. Our daughter wanted to raise them. I said, “NO!”

Ten large Home Depot construction buckets with lids later, two pole nets, new hoses, and we captured oodles of tadpoles in various stages of development. I asked a neighbor with a pond if she would take them, but she cringed. She had her own issues with the little green guys. My critique partner laughed, and laughed, and wanted pictures. No help there. Friends and family just shook their heads, saying, “Only you.”

What to do with ten big buckets of tadpoles? We did what any good nature-lovers would. We packed the little suckers in the car and drove them north to a beautiful lake. Not just any lake. One with somewhat easy access from a hidden spot off a dirt road. Because you can’t just drive up to someone’s lakefront home and ask if they’ll adopt your thousands of tadpoles. At least, I don’t think so. 😊

So, there ya have it. Another crazy story from Camp Hills. We’re magnets for weird.

Update: I was outside the other day and heard “the chirp”. OMG! Not again! “Honey… Guess what we’re doing this holiday weekend. Opening the pool even if it snows again.”

If you enjoy my quirky family stories, then you'll love how I incorporate family antics into my books. You can find them HERE.

Thanks for reading!

~ Kathryn


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18 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh! I can't imagine that. My daughter would have said the same thing yours did. I love frogs. I think they're adorable, but I don't want them in my backyard! (At least not that many.) Cute post!

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    1. Hahaha... Right?! The older/bigger ones really got to me. 🐸

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  2. What a great story--and bless you for being so kind. Nice to know you're a fellow "tree hugger", as we call ourselves. Now when I read your books I'll know to look for stories that sound suspiciously as if they might be based on true family incidents.

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    1. Tree Huggers Unite! We need t-shirts, Caroline! 😂 I LOVE wildlife, and collecting stories from our family and from friends. Some are so outrageous, my editor would give the side eye. But, that's what makes living such a fun adventure.

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  3. OMG I laughed so hard! I can see your face when discovering all of the tadpoles! I know New Hampshire has to be beautiful and it's on my bucket list for one of these days. Have a great weekend, Kathy! I enjoyed the post immensely. :)

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    1. 😂 I did drive the tadpoles up into the Lakes Region of New Hampshire! They're livin' the good life in some beautiful country. You should TOTALLY make the trip north to New England. I happen to know a great tour guide. 😉

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  4. That was such a fun story.My daughter is always telling us what she finds in her pool. One day we had to go up while seh was at work and chase the turkeys that had decide to live in the pool area. The dog was too afraid to go outside. No stories yet. It's been too cold.

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    1. It has been cold, Nora! Hopefully, we're heading into sunnier and warmer days. I can't imagine having a built-in pool here. I know there are ramps you can put in those pools to allow wildlife to escape...frogs, and snakes, and such. Oh jeez. I've heard Bears even take a swim now and then. Our above-ground is challenging enough for such a short swim season. hahaha

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  5. I’d have done the same thing! So young with full lives ahead of them...nope...couldn’t kill them. A fun story hilariously told! Gave me my smile for the day!

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    1. 😂 They grow up so fast, Bonnie! *sniff*sniff* 😂 A google search back then told me it happens to many, but solutions were hard to come by. Definitely not something in this writer's wheelhouse. Thanks for reading. SO glad I started your day with a smile!

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    1. Thanks, Kathleen! Wishing you and yours a lovely holiday weekend. 😊

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  7. Love this!! One year when I was young we had a huge puddle on our dead end street and millions of tadpoles wiggled around in it. But then the days got warmer and the water started evaporating! I was horrified and started carting buckets of water down to refill the puddle. Our hose didn't reach that far!! I was not successful! There's only so much water you can haul down when the sun sucks it up quickly! I was devastated!!

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    1. OH NO! That's so sad. I bet you were devastated. That's what we were working so hard to avoid with our daughter. And, honestly, me. Someone suggested back then that I just siphon them off into the grass and let them die. The bugs and birds will eat them. Really, dude?!! Frog hating monster. I'm gonna put him in a book. 😂😂😂

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  8. Hmmmm.... The gaul of that insidious critique partner! Laughing like that! Shame on him/her!! I hope you had some scathing words for her...umm...him.... whoever that may have been!!! *snerk* Never DID get those pictures!

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    1. Hahahahahahaha...... I sent you that Godzilla pic. 😎

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