I remember the Goodale Street pond in West Boylston very fondly. It was only about a half mile from our house, and we spent a lot of time there, mostly hunting bullfrogs. At first, the fascination started with the eggs. My brother and I would find some eggs and take them home in a jar, and watch them magically transform into tadpoles. I can;t remember if we ever kept a tadpole long enough to see it become a full fledged rog, but it was quite a thing to see the legs develop slowly. Such a beautiful thing of nature.
Bullfrogs were a different breed though. They were sly and sneaky. You had to creep up on them. You could hear them croaking away, so they gave out their location. But to actually catch one, you had to be quick. Slowly we would try to creep up behind them. We knew if the croaking stopped that they could hear or sense us in the area. Too much noise and they were quickly jumping in the water and swimming away. we did catch our share of them, and let many go back to their freedom. The ones we kept – well, you don;t really want to know what we did with them.
Do children take the time outside to enjoy nature, or are our modern technologies so integrated in their lives that bullfrogs are just an annoyance. I know the last time I went back to West Boylston, the old pond was so covered with overgrowth that you couldn’t get near it without a machete. And most of the water was gone. Do our kids still have an enchantment with the mysteries of nature, or is it just something they endure? Do kids still hunt bullfrogs?