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28. Ecuador Adventures and Frogs – Quito, Part III

Monday, June 19th, Goodbye, goodbye.

At 7 pm we took another bus ride up an ascending winding road. In Ecuador, sunrise is at 6 am and sunset at 6 pm the year round, so our second trip up a mountain was in the dark. The restaurant was built on the very edge of the world, and so I was lucky to have a seat by the window.
This view is very much like one from a Reggae place on a mountainside in Jamaica, and one in Hong Kong when I was in my teens, among others I have seen. Many of my readers have been treated to similar sights, and know that what makes the sparkling lights so special is the people we ae with. This evening, Melvin was on my right, Chelsea, Jaime, and Victor across from me.

It was the first chance I had had to talk very much with Chelsea, so it was nice to hear about her previous and upcoming experiences. The Peru Ecotour she had led did not initially appeal to me, partly because I was holding out for Ecuador, and because in the beginning it was advertised for just women. As she explained her involvement in the Earthfire Institute Wildlife Sanctuary, and her understanding of Spiritual Ecology, an all female tour made much more sense.


If we are to restore the balance in our world, we need to go beneath the surface to heal the split between spirit and matter and help to bring the sacred back into life. —Llewellyn Vaughan Lee, author of Spiritual Ecology, The Cry of the Earth.

Hmmmm, Cry of the Earth? Isn’t that what I was thinking when I took that picture of the tree back in Papillacta?

https://www.zpc-naturefolio.org.uk/melvin-grey.html

Photo of Melvin Grey, photographer, by Melvin Grey

Speaking of spiritual, what would I have done on this trip without my pal Melvin? He was clearly a friend that I have known for all eternity. From the first encounter in the garden, we, not always, but often, were together at meals, on walks and the bus. Sometimes there was no need for conversation, and I had come to the conclusion that we were “gemelos duendes” (elf twins). This is the photographer for the great shot of me you have seen in other posts.

This dark and noisy place was the end of our formal journey together. Our group goodbye therefore was out in the parking lot, in front of the bus, where Michael and Chelsea thanked us for joining them, and, because of the timing of our airline flights, hugs were exchanged between those who wouldn’t see each other again. But there was more to come for a few of us.

27. Ecuador Adventures and Frogs – Quito, Part II

June 19th, Sacred Moment and Loss

The gondola ends on a plateau, where there some hills and hiking trails. We had been warned that it is cool up there, and somehow I missed or forgot that signal. Before setting off, I had proudly, for the first time, used the feature of my hiking pants that allowed me to convert them into shorts. When we got to the top, I discovered the folly of my ways, and had to zip the bottoms back on again. By the time that was done, and after I paid the 50 cents that is required for 10 squares of toilet paper (EACH and EVERY time you go in, whether you need it or not), the rest of the group had disappeared.

It was sunny and pleasant up there, but the altitude was so high, I never would have been able to keep up with my fellow travelers, as I felt a little dizzy and weak. Taking my time, I got what I think are a few nice photos in the reserve.

As I contemplated the bridges,                         

the clouds below eye level,the formations of those clouds, and the peek holes through the branches, the thought came to me that I was having a sacred moment, and that there was nothing I could possibly be missing.               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Except maybe chocolate?

Back at the cafeteria at the edge of the mountain, I ordered hot chocolate. After drinking it and wandering around a bit, I discovered my beautiful magical walking stick that Cesar had cut for me was gone. The woman at the chocolate counter called me over to retrieve it. Chris, Brian and Melvin arrived, and they also had hot chocolate.  When the rest of the group all got back, we started down the teleférico. I was in the last group to go.

At the bottom, I realized my staff was gone again! Clearly it had been on the bench where I was gathering my things together to leave. The gondola was about to close, the group had all gathered and were waiting to get on the bus. 

Photo Credit Unknown

I was sad. So much for my spiritual moment, wondering what I could possibly be missing. 

Finally I comforted myself that it was better to leave it there for another hiker to use than to have it confiscated (which I’m sure it would have been) at the airport terminal. The palm stalk had been a good companion from Anaconda on.

 

26. Ecuador Adventures and Frogs – Quito, Part I

Monday, June 19th, Town and Teleférico

In lieu of a scheduled early morning hike into the Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve, I appreciated the view again from my bed that morning before breakfast, through the condensation on the window.

At 10 we were off for the relatively short drive back to Quito, arrived at Hotel Barnard to leave our baggage, and were led to El Centro Histórico to browse in the markets for the end of our souvenir shopping. I bought a pair of tiny frog earrings for $3 (they use American dollars in Ecuador), one of which promptly separated from the backing.  I have the parts somewhere to glue, but you know how that goes.  

For lunch, we were on our own   Wandering back to the hotel through the park, I noticed that Ecuadorians possibly love movies and theaters even as much as my husband Martin does. He likes old theaters though, and the Sala de Cine is definitely a modern work of art. 

The colorful buses complement the bright bridges, or is it the other way around?

At three pm we boarded the bus again for TelefériQo, which everyone had chosen over a walking tour of Quito.

The gondola ride takes 20 minutes from the sprawling densely populated city center to Cruz Loma, 2717 feet higher.  We got a glimpse of the former Quito airport, into which my friend Melvin Grey had flown on his first trip to Ecuador.  

City planners had the foresight to make the abandoned airport into the largest park in Quito. It is that large green arrow shape in the middle of the bottom third of the photo above the downward curving arc (the second green line from the bottom).

The original Mariscal Sucre International Airport  was one of the busiest airports in South America.  In the year 2000, there were more than 2000 connections a week made just by the airline TAME.  The terminals were located at an intersection of two major city avenues.

Melvin delights in describing the harrowing tale of several tries the pilot made to guide the airplane precisely onto the relatively short and narrow old Mariscal Sucre International Airport tarmac. Residential houses on both sides of the plane allowed passengers to look out at people on their porches and at their windows, who looked back at them.

When the plane had safely landed and stopped, everyone, inside and outside the plane, cheered. Melvin said to the stewardess that he didn’t know they were going to alight in the middle of the city. She replied that they had just flown into one of the highest and most dangerous airports in the world, where only especially trained pilots were allowed to land.  

He also didn’t know then that there were at least six accidents in the few years before the airport was moved in 2013.  Dear Melvin, we are glad that you were with us to tell the tale.

 

 

 

 

 

25. Ecuador Adventures and Frogs – El Crater – Part III

Saturday, June 18th,International Chapters and My Favorite Environmental Cause

By August 2017, SAVE THE FROGS! had given $79,202 in grants to various amphibian conservation groups around the world, favoring countries with fewer resources.
Australia:          $500
Bangladesh:  $6,930
Brazil:               $200
Colombia:     $1,600
Estonia:            $250
Ghana:         $52,739
India:              $3,380
Liberia:              $200
Madagascar:     $200
Mexico:           $3,760
Nepal:             $3,900
Nigeria:              $250
Paraguay:          $500
Tanzania:           $593
USA:               $4,200
TOTAL           $79,20

Ghana clearly has gotten the lion’s share.  This is not a funny pun: There are just between 15 and 32 thousand remaining wild west African lions, with as few as 34 in all of Nigeria. They are extinct in Ghana, and in critical danger of going extinct altogether.

Once I asked Kerry how one could justify supporting frogs, given that humans need so much. His answer was that, unless we create sustainable environments, humans are likely to consume themselves out of existence.

A case in point: Not only are the lions gone from Ghana, all the mammals have been hunted to extinction. Now the natives survive on fish and crocodiles, which they lure with frogs. However, because they have cut down so many trees, both to make charcoal and collect honey, they are losing their frogs. Unchecked, the people eventually will starve to death.

At our Saturday evening meeting, Michael mentioned Ghana as an example of counteracting that trend. Kids there used to hunt frogs. Now they play soccer instead.

Their team name? SAVE THE FROGS! 

Ghana is the first and most active International SAVE THE FROGS! Chapter in the world.
This is what they have done:
· planted over 15,000 trees to reforest habitat for critically endangered Giant Squeaker Frogs,
· trained numerous undergraduates in amphibian biology and field techniques,
· trained villagers in beekeeping so they don’t have to chop trees to collect wild honey,
· campaigned for the creation of a new national park to protect the Togo Slippery Frog, which is known to survive on only two streams.

You can learn more about their efforts at SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana

Although there have been some difficulties, as there always are, consider how much has been achieved in 6 years.

Most humans aren’t aware that self destruction is what we are about, but hopefully the imminent demise of so many species, from frogs, to lions, to elephants, might serve as a wake up call. Ghana is a model of what can be done.

Other international chapters SAVE THE FROGS! has formed include Argentina, Bangladesh, Colombia (not active), Mexico and Paraguay.  SAVE THE FROGS! also has:
· protested at government agencies to ban harmful pesticides and to protect wetlands,
· assisted with and led the construction or restoration of 29 wetlands,
· gotten frog legs out of 77 supermarkets and two restaurants,
· ended frog dissections at 18 schools,
· given 500+ live presentations,
· stopped the destruction of endangered amphibian habitats in Canada, New Zealand and the USA.
· held over 1,800 educational events in 62 countries to educate people about the plight of frogs and teach them ways to protect amphibians.
· introduced over 60 of Save the Frogs! supporters to tropical ecosystems,
· contributed over $50,000 to local economies, enabling communities to better protect their wildlife.

These are just a few of the reasons that SAVE THE FROGS! is my favorite environmental cause. The staff is real, accessible, friendly, helpful, loving, and accountable; truly like family.

All Photo Credits:  Kerry Kriger

24. Ecuador Adventures and Frogs – El Crater – Part II

24. Sunday, June 18thEducation, Advocacy 

After an early dinner at Restaurant El Crater, Michael led a talk about what we could do when we got back to our respective homes.  Here are some of the things we discussed

Education 

Dr. Tyrone Hayes, a professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, is one of my personal heroes.  A book, The Frog Scientist, by Pamela S. Turner and Andy Comins, is about him, and what goes on in the worlds of politics, money and health, and is great for children. (https://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/the-frog-scientist)

Dr. Hayes originally was contracted by Novartis (later Syngenta) to prove the safety of Atrazine. Hayes was quickly cut off from research funding when he found quite the opposite, and reported hormonal and anatomical abnormalities due to this chemical, such as eggs in males, gonads in females, and extra legs in frogs.

The Swiss manufacturer (Syngenta) and a corrupt Australian Pesticides and “Medicine Authority” (quotes mine) has spent billions of dollars to discredit Hayes’ research. So far, the research prevailed in a multi-million dollar settlement by Illinois Water bottling companies against Syngenta. The US Environmental Protection Agency sided with the corporation by finding Atrazine “safe”, but fortunately, it was banned at least in Europe in 2004.

Dr. Hayes blames Atrazine for a large part of the global loss of amphibians, as well as for health issues in humans. He has spent his life as an educator and advocate for the review of the use of chemicals to prevent health consequences to humans, has published hundreds of papers, and traveled extensively to talk about his findings.

Victor H. Luja, our own SAVE THE FROGS! advisor and group member, is an educator/advocate in Mexico, and he was with us the whole time! His professorship in the University both allows and requires publications, one of which has a title longer, probably, than the frog he is writing about, La Rana Arbolica

Victor recognizes that the real hope for frogs lies as much or more with the people of the land rather than within university walls. Therefore, with the help of SAVE THE FROGS!, the book is designed for the ranchers of the oasis, with information on biology and the natural history of Rana Arborícola written in a way to make the science practical and accessible to those who need it most.

While I haven’t discussed it with Victor yet, as an educator, I think it would make a really interesting research project to compare the awareness and specific protective actions by the residents of this area both before and after the distribution process.

Habitat Development: Wetlands

Kathlyn Franco Osagie wasn’t with us on the trip, but she was a presenter with Kerry Kriger about wetland construction as part of our SAVE THE FROGS! 90 Day Challenge in 2015. She has worked closely with wetlands ecologist Tom Biebighauser.

The amazing thing is that wetlands are like highways; build them, and they will be populated. Ten Tips to Give Frogs a Landing Pad

The creation of wetlands is one of the most important activities of SAVE THE FROGS! and as of February 2017, the organization had assisted in the construction of twenty nine.

                                         Art

Nick Gustafson is a good SAVE THE FROGS! friend, who does his advocacy and teaching through art. Nick is a big supporter, providing a number of frog posters, paintings, and photos. Artwork and Photos.

Nick has helped with and sometimes won my favorite SAVE THE FROGS! event, the Art Contest. When I go into schools, I leave a poster in each classroom I visit. The children and teachers always love them, and I have heard reports back that certain schools have whole units designed around the contest. The Core Curriculum includes The Life Cycle of Frogs in 2nd grade and Frog Diversity Threatened in 3rd. Two posters stapled together made a great sign for me this year Earth Day, attracting attention, admiration, and picture taking.

                                                                

23. Ecuador Adventures and Frogs – El Crater Part 1

23. Sunday, June 18th, To the Middle of the World

Aargh! Last night was our last frogging! How can I bear it?

Goodbye, Casa Divina jungle!           Goodbye, Casa Divina forest!                Goodbye, my special stream guides!

At 10:30 am we were at the circle to take the bus back towards Quito. We arrived at El Crater at the Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve. When we put our luggage in our rooms, we saw that one could view the landscape sitting at the head or foot of the bed. What a way to wake up!  There also was a great view from the other side, steadfastly guarded by an elegant llama.

Fortunately, the sun held out for us for the afternoon, although it was a little chilly. Our faithful bus driver took us to Mitád del Mundo. Faithfully, I took a photo (see yellow circle and yellow line) from the top of the monument, that I sent to my faithful husband. He was quick to point out (faithfully) the truth that the equator line is really not the equator.

So much for thoughts of fixing it: plans were stalled to rebuild the world’s tallest assembled structure (5,000 feet) 800 feet to the north to the ACTUAL equator, for a mere $250 million. Hopefully the architect, Rafael Viñoly, will be able to afford his life in New York without this contract; Ecuador is not a wealthy country.  

Most people don’t care and love to have their pictures taken on the current equator line anyway. Brian and Chris, and Katie and Michael apparently preferred the back of the monument.

We left at closing time with a few more souvenirs to take home.  By the time we got to El Crater, it was too late to get that stunning photo of the landscape sitting at the head or foot of the bed.

 

22. Ecuador Adventures and Frogs – Casa Divina Part IV

Saturday, June 17th, Full of surprises.

Finally we got back to the head of the trail at the top of the cable car line. The others, surprisingly, were still waiting for us. The original plan was to take the cable car back, go into the village of Mindo to join the butterfly farm group for lunch and wander around the town.

Instead, we were met with the news that the cable car was stuck in the middle of the ravine, and that it would probably be 24 hours before it was operative again. The workers were fashioning a rescue mechanism for the stranded individual suspended in space. While we felt compassion, we felt no envy for his situation.

Ours was challenging enough: We would have to walk all the way down into and up out of the deep chasm.

At the end of the hike, way past lunch time, Michael’s Fitbit reported the following:
Total miles walked: 8.5
Total steps climbed: 20,852
Total flights of stairs 149
Total hours on foot: 6

No wonder we were more than a little tired!

Time for a bath, stretch, rest, dinner, and photos of Molly, Efraim, and their younger daughter. This was our last evening together.

I told their assistant Gabrielle very firmly not to laugh, and of course, she did not.

Alas, this was our last night for frogging. The group had gotten permission through Efraim, who came with us, to go to land owned by another ecolodge. We were led down a rocky, slippery and narrow stream, with high banks on both sides, and only occasional flat (wet) ground on one side or the other.

Our guides that night were Ephraim, his assistant Alex Luna, our Paolo, Chelsea and Michael, and a guide from the property we explored. Alex, as kind and helpful as any true leader, was the person who volunteered his shoulder, hand and arm during our walk down the stream.

Ephraim used my pitiful old cracked  I phone to get some better photos for me.

Hanging lizards were a common site on our Frogging nights.

What was less common was to see a helpless lizard being used to demonstrate his throat pouch, and I worried.

The absolute best photo, though, and which made the whole evening worth a trip back to Ecuador any time, left me with a question of whether these two will co-exist, or will Liz eat Frog?

We saw two good egg sacks, one on a leaf, and the other hanging. Maybe the second one was like the one that yielded its treasure to my back earlier in the day.

This was a night for more frogs and a few toads.

     

“Look to the left! Look to the right! Look straight ahead!  Move on!”

                     

And please help SAVE THE FROGS! Donate!

21. Ecuador Adventures and Frogs – Casa Divina – Part III

Friday, June 16th, Froggy Finds

Another frogging night, better than the last.  Yes, I saw some interesting things, such as a round black snail, a round tan fungus, and some green and white spiral and striped leaves, more intensely colored under headlamp light.

There were clusters of spiky orange flowers, little white flowers and a spider nicely silhouetted on a red blossom.

But that’s not why I came to Ecuador!  This Friday evening started out with a tiny green frog that landed on Victor’s arm, a perfect SAVE THE FROGS! poster child.

Except, of course, we were in Ecuador.

The frogs are soooooooo small that one really has to be alert not to accidentally step on or otherwise injure the miniature creatures.  They are made very much like ourselves, but are far less aggressive. Try to find the frog on the leaf. 

And, they are darned cute!!!!!  Same frog, front and side:

The cloud forest is so alive.  This was definitely a better night for me than any of the others, but the best was yet to come.

Saturday, June 17, Bravo River Reserve Hike

Again, I happily slept in, and vicariously got to enjoy Melvin’s and the other bird fiend’s crazy 5 a.m. expedition.

Andean Cock of the Rock
Rupicola peruviana sanquinolenta
Adult male at lek.
Mindo, Ecuador                                            Photo Credit Melvin Grey

Apparently Ecuador was a little put out that Peru chose the Andean CockoftheRock for its national bird, and got the Andean condor instead. However, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Peru and five other states have used the condor as their national symbol as well. Is it a case of “what’s mine is mine, and what’s your’s is mine also”?

Many of the group that had gone zip lining the day before, todaywent to the Butterfly Garden.  Our adventure at 10 am was to take a cable car across a long ravine.

We hiked an intense (our guide called it “easy!”) trail with plenty of muddy spots and steep steps and many many ups and downs (our guide called it “flat!”)

Of course, I lagged behind the group, but, bless his soul, Michael stayed with me and helped me in the usual way, with a hand, a wrist, a shoulder, a pull or a push, as required.

There was plenty to see. Nature’s art and how many of our archetypal images and creative combinations form have always intrigued me.

As a precursor for a BIG surprise later, Michael scooped up a little friend to introduce us briefly before putting it back in the stream where he found it.

Our destination: Esperanza waterfall.  Michael and I were comparatively so late arriving that we only got to see it for a few minutes before turning back.

The absolute piéce de resistance however, was what Paolo, walking behind me, spotted.  It was literally no bigger than a spot on my shirt, much enlarged for detail.  

What spiritual meaning could there be for this gift?  Did it fall at just the right (or wrong) moment? Did I brush up against a branch where it was hanging ready to fall? When we got to the edge of the stream, Michael carefully transferred it to a leaf, and tenderly carried it to the water where there was a quiet pool. Good luck, little tadpole! 

20. Ecuador Adventures and Frogs – Casa Divina Part II.

Friday, June 16th – Bedazzling Butterflies

 

Chelsea took us on a walking Spanish lesson.  Here is an attempt at putting her words into a Spanglish paragraph.  See if you can figure out the meaning of the Spanish from the context.

Before I went on a walk, I put on my (ropa de campo), my shoes, and (gorra o sombrero).  I used my (repellante) because I did not intend to touch any wildlife.  All of my (equipo) was in my (mochilla).   I carried my (baston) for stability.

We walked by (arboles) with very rough (cortesa) and covered with (musco).  Sometimes it was difficult to trek along because of the (palos) from the trees, and branches with (hojas) in our faces.

 In the orchard there were (limos) and (citrico) trees.  At first I was worried, because I could only see the bed of an (arroyo seco), but soon we came to a small rivulet which became a (rio) that fed into a (charco). Just past the pond was some flooding that created some nice (humadales).  It was so wonderful to hear the sounds of the (ranas) that I didn’t even care that I had a sore (rodillo), a scratched (pierna) and a stone in my (zapatos).  The stone hadn’t damaged my (pie) when I removed it with my (dedo), which did get cut, so I bit my finger with my (dientes) until it stopped bleeding.

After lunch we had a choice of ziplining or going to the Butterfly Farm. It seemed to be the better part of wisdom to skip the former, and I thought I would get some fine photos at the latter. It was definitely a good hike to arrive there and an enchanting place to relax inside.

The display was very well organized, and showed the stages of development, a great variety of caterpillars and pupae.

When the larvae hatch, the butterflies hang on for some time to dry.

They move a short distance  away, dry for another 24 hours, and then are on the wing. Some are let free into an outer, bigger, area, and some are kept for breeding.  We didn’t get to go outside, because it was raining hard and it was the closing hour.

By the time we were supposed to go, the pair on the gravel were still at it.  I called the attendant, because I was concerned that they would be stepped on.  She carefully put something under them and moved them to a bush.  She said sometimes they stay locked for a day or more.

Also I asked her about one red butterfly dive bombing another of somewhat different markings and colorings. The interpreter said that the in flight butterfly was flirting with the sedentary one. Whenever I came near a red butterfly, it would close its wings, as if it knew what I wanted and was playing coy.  

My last question had to do with a yellow morpho butterfly who was wildly flying from place to place in a very frantic way.  She said they get that way when they are trying to find a place to leave their eggs.  After they do, staff members carefully collect and incubate them until they hatch.

In the meantime, an owl butterfly sat on Levi’s hand the whole time we were there.  If you were Levi, would you have even breathed, let alone move away?

None of us were in a hurry to leave.

Our guide from Casa Divina decided to call a cab for our ride home because of the rain, and I had time for a nice bath and some stretching before supper.

 

19. Ecuador Adventures and Frogs – Casa Divina Part I

Thursday evening, June 15th, Divine Cloud Forest

Around 4:30 pm, we arrived at Casa Divina. It seemed that each place we stayed got better and better. Our stay was for 3 nights, and I could have stayed for 3 weeks, happily.

A Cabin for Crystal, Stephanie, Katie and me.

A Really Good Omen. Welcoming frog on the window, sighted from the supper table.

All of our boots were sterilized with a small amount of chlorine greatly diluted with water for our evening frogging walk. Melvin continued to sport his fancy white rubber boots, and I acquired some red ones. All the others were black. SAVE THE FROGS! had purchased some boots at the beginning of the trip, and were kind enough to leave them behind at Casa Divina when we left 3 days later.

Best Frogging to Date.

 

Other sights lit up by our headsets included yellow fungus, green bamboo, and yellow orchids.  

Friday morning, June 16th, A Love Story

While I happily slept in, some of the crazier members of our group got up for 6 am bird watching from the open second floor and around the reserve.  After breakfast, we met up in the lovely airy space upstairs the others had started from.  Efrain and Molly told the story of their love and partnership.

Molly was 21 years old when she came to Ecuador as an exchange student. Here she met Efrain, and was impressed with his passion for preserving the environment and organizing the people.  

After several years of being good friends, they had the opportunity for a long discussion on a bus ride to another part of the country. By the end of the trip they had decided they ought to marry.  

Within two weeks they did just that, and now have two lovely daughters, as well as their beautiful home that they built and share with guests. We were so fortunate that they did!

Efrain is an owner naturalist who actually went out with us for our walking adventures.

Frogs Are Bioindicators. What Happens to Frogs Happens to All.

Michael followed Molly and Efrain with some Frog Facts. He pointed out that children often don’t know the word bioindicator, or the concept of a “canary in a coal mine”, but they do understand the idea of a thermometer. As the world, and harmful practices literally and figuratively heat up, the frog population diminishes.

  • Chytrid fungus is the disease responsible for decimating amphibian species worldwide.  
  • The fungus affects the ability of an infected frog to breathe by attacking and thickening the skin.
  • The fungus also attacks tadpole mouthparts so they are unable to eat.
  • Frogs are like little sponges that suck up toxins.
  • The pet trade hurts frog populations by taking frogs directly.
  • Eating frogs is a bad and harmful habit.
    • In Florida, in one festival day the participants eat a million frogs.
    • Indonesia is the biggest importer and consumer of frogs legs.
    • France is next, then the United States.
  • There are no regulations for frog farming.
  • Many imported frogs are infected and let go, contaminating and/or eating native frogs
    • Coqui frogs are valuable in Puerto Rico, but invasive in Hawaii
    • Bullfrogs are invasive in 22 countries
    • Cuban frogs are invasive frogs in Florida
  • In California, 1/3 of all wetlands necessary for frog life are dry because of climate change.
  • Life for a frog is dangerous in all its stages.  Putting their feats into perspective:
    • The first thing a tadpole hatching from an egg does is take a sky dive of 40 ft
    • Poison dart frogs tadpoles flop onto their parents back, one at a time.  The parent carries it up the equivalent of the Empire State Building to find the perfect bromeliads, and go back until they have carried every tadpole to their new home. 

Brave little creatures!  Why are we so mean?

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