Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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Frogs Need Birthdays Too

Celebrating the kitties’ birthday got me to thinking about how I have no idea when the froggies’ birthdays are. I don’t know if they all share the same birthday or if they have different birthdays. And, come to think of it, I don’t even know if you are supposed to celebrate the day the frog eggs were laid as their birthday or the day that the eggs hatched or even possibly the day the tadpoles metamorphosed into frogs. They just don’t tell you such things when you adopt frogs!

So, I have made an executive decision to celebrate the frogs’ birthday on February 19, which was the birthday of Nicolaus Copernicus, the great mathematician and astronomer after whom Copernicus the Third, and his forefathers Copernicus and Copernicus the Second, were named after.

Untitled

Also, I’m just realizing that I haven’t yet blogged about the recent frog tragedy at Chez Neige. A few weeks back at frog feeding time, only 3 frogs came out to eat. And, as we all know from the back of my car, I have 4 frogs. Now, the frogs are *very* good at hiding, so it was possible that perhaps one of the little guys was just having a snooze in the castle. Unfortunately, the fourth frog never materialized and so after a few days of only seeing 3 frogs, I ended up taking stuff out of the tank to make sure (s)he wasn’t hiding the castle or in one of the plants. And then I had to admit that the frog was MIA. I’m guessing that somehow, despite the lid being on the tank, the frog made a great escape (the lid doesn’t cover the entire area, as there’s some room between the lid and the filter cube in the tank, so it’s possible (s)he jumped out). Aquatic dwarf frogs can’t live more than 20 minutes out of water, so once a frog leaves the tank, that’s pretty much it for them. And there’s really two possibilities as to what happen to the froggy cadaver. Either I will find their dried husk under a piece of furniture at some later date or a kitty got a snack. If it was the latter, I wouldn’t blame whichever kitty it was – they are obligate carnivores, after all, and I don’t even know what would be a worse – slowly dehydrating to death or being devoured by a cat. I hope whichever way my froggy went, it was the less bad way.

Also, I have a bit of a conundrum as all the frogs had grown to be the same size, so I was no longer able to tell them apart. So I don’t even know which frog is missing and presumed deceased! So now I’m going to make another executive decision1 – RIP Raspberry. You are missed.

  1. Based solely on choosing the least creative of the 4 frog names. []

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Frog Days of Summer

So I spoke to someone at the pet store to see if I could figure out why all my frogs keep dying1 and the leading theory is water temperature. Since frogs are cold blooded creatures, they can’t create their own body heat and if the water temperature gets too cold, their metabolism slows down, they can’t heal as well, etc. Which seems to fit with the pattern I’d been seeing – when I first got the frogs, they’d be all peppy and active, but over time they would seem to get lethargic and then start dropping off. Also, my initial fraggle, who all lasted quite some time, were purchased in the summer, when my apartment is always hot, and the deaths tended to occur in the winter, when the temperature in the apartment drops significantly at night.

So, with this as my working hypothesis, I purchased an aquarium heater, which is essentially a bar that is suction cupped to the inside of the tank, with a bit sticking up out of the water where the cord for it is. It’s set to keep the tank at a minimum of 26 degrees C – if it gets hotter than that, it shuts off (and it’s OK for the temperature to be warmer than that, as the frogs like the heat). I also got them some live plants as a place to hide and to help maintain water quality.

As well, with the last fraggle, I had come up with a better solution to my frogs escaping problem than the ghetto-looking saran wrap “solution” I’d been using previously. Instead of this:

Saran Wrap Frog Tank "Lid"

Saran Wrap Frog Tank "Lid"

I now have a new frog tank lid that’s actually built for this tank (which I hadn’t noticed at the pet store previously):

Frog Tank Lid

Frog Tank Lid

So I bought a new fraggle of 5 frogs, which I brought home from the Yaletown pet store on the Skytrain:

Frogs on the Skytrain

Sadly, one frog died after only a couple of days. When I first got the frogs home, I noticed this one guy who wouldn’t stop sitting on top of the heater:

Frogs

I told him that he was going to dry out if he kept doing that (as he was entirely out of the water when he was sitting on top of the heater and these aquatic frogs cannot be out of the water for more than ~20 minutes without drying to death), but he didn’t listen to me. I was hoping he’d have the good sense to jump back in the water when he was feeling dehydrated, but I don’t think he did, as when I came home from work I found him floating dead next to the heater. Poor little guy wasn’t even around long enough to get a name! 🙁

The other four frogs, however, are thriving2. I’ve decided to name them:

  • Raspberry
  • Copernicus the Third
  • Tyrion Froggister3
  • Timbit

The only one I can differentiate so far is Raspberry, as she’s the palest one4. I’m sure once I get to know them better, I’ll be able to tell them apart.

And now, some froggy cuteness!

On plant:

Frogs

All four:

Frogs

Standing tall:

Frogs

Two buddies:

Frogs

Looking at you:

Frogs

Frogs!

  1. Like the frogs that came before them, my last fraggle of frogs all met their premature ends without me being able to figure out wtf. []
  2. Knock on wood. []
  3. Props to Cath for coming with this name, after Tyrion Lannister… because it’s a dwarf frog! []
  4. Named in homage to Apricot, who was also the lighest coloured frog of her fraggle. []

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A House Without Frogs Is Not A Home

Even since the death of poor Copernicus, things just haven’t been the same at my house. Every time I’d walk into the living room, I’d automatically walk towards the frog tank to check on the frogs… and then I’d remember that there were no more frogs. And then I would have a sad. And no one wants a sad Beth!

I tried putting my stuffed frog, the aptly named Froggy1, into the tank, but it just wasn’t the same:

Frogs

So, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, I now have a new fraggle of aquatic dwarf frogs!

So far, only three of the five froggies have names.

This is Copernicus the Second:

Frogs

He is the tiniest little frog I’ve ever seen, but he’s very spunky. He inherits the Twitter account of his namesake, Copernicus the First (rest his little froggy soul).

This is Froggymodo:
Frogs

And this is Apricot:

Frogs

Apricot is actually quite easy to distinguish from the other frogs, as she’s not only larger, but also she’s got a more yellow skin tone, compared to the darker green of the others, and she also has much darker eyes.

This guy doesn’t have a name yet:

Frogs

And neither does this one:

Frogs

I’m taking suggestions, in case you have any good ideas for frog names. Speak now or forever hold your peace.

Also, Froggy has now returned to his post next to my laptop, where he belongs:

FrogsAnd all is right with the world.

 

  1. I’ve had froggy since I was about 6 months old. I was born with a dislocated hip and part of the treatment for that involves being put into a half-body cast known as a “frog leg cast“, so when I was in the hospital, my Aunty Wendy and Uncle Harry gave me this stuffed frog, which I’ve had ever since! []

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The Last Two Frog Names

As you know, we’d given names to 3 of our 5 frogs, but were hoping that the remaining 2 frogs would do something distinctive so that we could come up with names for them too. Well, we’ve given these guys a few more days and they have failed to do anything that allows us to distinguish them – except for the fact that one of them seems to like to hide in the fake plant *a lot*, but we didn’t think that Scaredy Cat was a good name for a frog. So we’ve decided to just call them Starsky and Hutch. Not sure which one is Starsky and which one is Hutch, but hopefully they won’t be too offended if we just call the two of them at the same time.

I think Copernicus, Rocky, Torpedo, Starsky, & Hutch are quite enjoying living with us. We had people over on Saturday and they were very entertained by the frog antics.