Tag Archives: Lake Martin

A Tadpole Tale

Good morning Everyone!

Kayla’s elementary school has a unique feature:  a rock garden pool.

Rock Garden 3

When we have a heavy rain the day before, the boundary of the pool slips ever so slightly out of its bounds onto the rocks as well, and then over the next day slowly recedes back into its normal boundaries.

Rock Garden 2

A couple of weeks ago, the water was receding over the rocks when Kayla and her friends discovered a swarm of tadpoles that were caught in a puddle on the rock and which would soon die.  Kayla collected empty water bottles from her friends, punched holes in the lids, filled the bottles with the pond water and proceeded to catch several tadpoles for each of her friends, including herself.  She told me her friends were calling her “The Tadpole Whisperer.”  She also presented me with the algae-and-tadpole ridden water bottle that was hers and informed me that she was going to take her six tadpoles and raise them into frogs.

Now, let’s back track just a minute.  As many of you may recall, we have three “inside” dogs:



Mandy, awakens from a nap


Dog, Labrador Retriever


Ever since Dog #3 was admitted into our home, Kayla has been repeatedly told that we will have no other pets, not even a goldfish, entering the house.  (This wise rule has prevented sustained arguments over rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, ferrets, goldfish, aquariums, mice, baby squirrels, etc.)

When she presented the algae- and tadpole-ridden water bottle to me, I reminded her of this rule.  She informed me, absolutely seriously, that the no-pet rule didn’t count here because she would merely be fostering them until they turned into frogs.  Thinking that such a fine argument deserved at least a little credit, I told her she could bring the bottle home, but that she needed permission from both Mark and I to keep the tadpoles until they were frogs, and that I didn’t really think it was likely she’d be able to keep them.  (I also started doing a mental inventory in my mind of the multitude of aquarium-related equipment we’d need for this to be a success and decided that it was not going to be cost-effective, either.)

Rock Garden 1

Sure enough, once the tadpole bottle made it home and an inventory of the effort and effect of raising the six tadpoles was completed, Kayla was told that her tadpole project was a no-go and the tadpoles would have to be disposed of.

tadpole, bull frog

Bull frog Tadpole, Photograph from the U.S. Geological Survey and therefore part of the public domain

Kayla took it well and that was the end of it.

Or at least it should have been.  Now we come to the part that annoys me – I just couldn’t dump the tadpoles either down the toilet or onto the pavement. I just couldn’t.  Even though logic told me that 1) the tadpoles should have died on the rocks at the school anyhow , 2) even if they didn’t, the odds of any one of them living to be a frog were infinitely small and 3) if  they had been spiders or insects I would have stomped on them (or had Mark do so) without hesitation, I just couldn’t dump them out without at least a chance at life.  Nor could I just return them to the rock pool, since I gauged their chances of success there almost as slim as if I poured them out on the driveway.

Mark didn’t really understand it either, but since he loves me and Kayla he graciously gave us a couple of more days to allow me to have time, finally, on my lunch hour to carry the tadpoles to an offshoot of Lake Martin near our house where I could release them.

It is a testimony to Kayla’s skills as a tadpole catcher and feeder that all six of the little things were still alive when I released them in a quiet, warm, still section of the lake.

Have a great day everyone!


Through the Donut Hole

Good morning Everyone!

Sinclairs, Lake Martin, Kowaliga

Sinclairs at Lake Martin, from the Sinclair’s website

My mother was visiting us last weekend and while Mom was here we decided to drive over to a restaurant that is on the banks of Lake Martin, Sinclairs on the Lake.  We sat down to a beautiful waterfront view, and an excellent meal, but before the meal arrived, Mark and Kayla completed their ritual walk along the boat pier that lets boats dock right by the restaurant.  While they were doing so, a little black and white cocker spaniel streaked by them, bound and determined to get into the restaurant, having just seen her master go through the door.

Cocker Spaniel

A black and white cocker spaniel similar to the one we saw.

Mark helped to catch her, and inside the restaurant, Mom and I watched the cocker spaniel being brought back to the boat to await her owner, struggling against the leash all the way.

Shadow, Dog


It reminded me of an experience we had with our first dog, Shadow.  Even though she was half cocker, half lab, Shadow detested the water.  However, paradoxically, she loved to ride in the boat.  Her favorite speed was wake speed; she would sit in the front of the boat then and enjoy watching the world go by.  Whenever we went faster, my appearance was required in the front of the boat to hold her as we sped through the water.  When she decided that Mark was going too fast, or the ride was too bumpy, she would jump out of my arms and walk back to where Mark was driving, and stare at him.

Bayliner bowrider boat

A new model Bayliner similar to what we owned back in the day from www.bayliner.com

She was the smartest dog we ever owned, hands down, although Tyra comes close.  Once, she was too smart for her own good.

We had taken Mark’s sister, brother-in-law and our nephews, out in the boat, found a likely spot on the lake and anchored the boat where we could play and swim in the water.  One of the toys we were using was a huge inner tube.

Inner Tube

Inner Tube Similar to the One We Owned

We left Shadow in the boat because we knew how much she hated the water.  She sat on the front of the boat, watching us, and we went ahead with our water sport.  Before we  could turn back around, a black streak came flying off of the boat, ringing the inner tube in the center and slipping right through it.

It was at that moment that I learned that dogs could cuss.

Apparently, Shadow had eyed the inner tube carefully, and not realizing the hole in the center was floorless, had decided that she could jump onto the inner tube to be nearer to us as we were playing without getting wet.

She came up from under the inner tube swimming (it’s not that she couldn’t swim; she just hated the water) and mad as a hornet, blaming us for her misadventure.  She did deign, however, to let Mark help her back into the boat as she scrabbled up its fiberglass sides, desperate to get out of the hated water.

All was forgiven, of course, once we all got back in the boat and headed back to the dock.

Dog in Boat

Shadow riding at wake speed.

Have a great day everyone!