Today we fed the tadpoles. I learned how to keep them alive the hard way. At least now I know.
Back in November, when we first moved into the house, we collected tadpole eggs laid in rainwater in the pileta out back. I cut the top of a big plastic water jug and left them in fresh water. I read up on how to feed them and learned they can feed off the algae in the water.
What the internet didn't tell me on my searches is that there's generally not enough algae to feed ten tadpoles in a jug of well water.
So when our tadpoles started floating, I was surprised. Then I facebooked my friend Cory, a frog specialist and our neighbor in Bocas del Toro. She told me what to do.
Preparing Tadpole Food:
Take some greens. Lettuce. Spinach. Watercress, which seems to grow abundantly both in markets and wild here in Salta.
Boil it until the greens are very soft and dark. The water turns green too. Let it cool and drop it in the water.
That's it. So simple.
Hundreds, possibly thousands hatched from a recent batch laid in the the pileta, but we carried most of them to the San Lorenzo river nearby and set them free in the water. I felt bad at first, not knowing if they could live there, but when we found other frogs, I felt better.
About 20 remain. They are tiny, ant-sized and hungry.
Lila tells me she hears them scream out in tiny shrill voices. "We want spinach."
That, among other things, is what I did today.
Photo by Jake Wasdin