Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Local Wildlife: Playa and Tadpole Update - now with legs!

Four legs!

Do you remember that guy in junior high, you know, the one with muscles and a mustache before anyone else? Well, over the last few weeks, he rose among the ranks of the tadpoles. While no one else is showing even a bump for rear legs, he sprouted back legs, then front legs, and he is getting frog eyes now. Snagit, it's cool to watch him change daily.

No legs.

!@#$% drought!

Very recently, we had rain in Lubbock - lots of it. It rained for days. The plants turned green. The playa lakes all filled up. I rejoiced in knowing that the frogs (if they ever became frogs) would have a home to return to. The playa lake (see blog link below) was full and overflowing. But, that was the end of May.

May 27

I rode over there yesterday to look around. The lake is back to a marshy series of puddles. It's an amazing place now for birders. I saw more than twenty snowy egrets and an equal number of green herons. Two mallard hens had ducklings paddling around. They are all there plucking all the aquatics life from the drying puddles. The birds are fat and happy.

Without rain, though, the playa will once again be dry in a few weeks.

August 4

In the deepest part of the playa, there is one holdout area with water. I sat for a while admiring the birds. Then I started seeing movement in the water. Lots of movement. One swirl had to be a fairly large carp. But there was a lot of little movement too. Small black catfish, some dark goldfish looking fish -  maybe small carp, and I think I saw little black toad tadpoles. The biodiversity is pretty amazing right now.

May the wonder of our local wildlife, even in a stinky city park, overwhelm you!

Here is a link to the last tadpole post. Tadpoles in Clapp Park