Fish eat peas!

We have been collecting quite the specimen of animals, er -- perhaps I should say creatures -- over the past couple of weeks. First we got Mander, a little salamander the kids found in a stream at a friend's house this summer. We put him in a box with some water and let him climb up on the rocks. Well he is still alive and kicking and the happiest little salamader I ever did see. He eats dried bloodworms purchased from the pet store. I kid you not. He lives next to a large tank that is home to two small fish, one a black Tetra (or was it a Tiger Tetra?) and a Candy Cane Tetra. They get along swimmingly (oh that is a good one!). A couple of weeks ago we came home with a larger tropical fish that swims in a bowl all by her lonesome. There are a few large, blue, glass egg shaped rocks on the bottom of the bowl. She (I have no idea what sex it is) looks beautiful in there. She has a large belly and sometimes I think she is dead because it looks like she is on her side or upside-down and really she is just fat. Her weight is in her belly -- takes after the Gordon side of the family. We now have another addition to the family. His name is Wooly. He is a Wooly Bear caterpillar and is the cutest wooly bear caterpillar you ever saw! So, when Rebecca saw him on the soccer field last weekend (after screaming because she had no idea what the big fuzzy, scary creature was) we decided it too had to come home with us. Wooly lives next to the smaller fish and Mander on the counter. He has his own container with fresh lettuce and carrots. He seems very happy. These creatures won't die of loneliness or boredom... that's for sure! As soon as Wooly starts to develop a crysalis we will set him outside -- we are still in the 70s here so I am not too worried about frost just yet. Woolies, while cute as can be turn into moths. I have never met one that I have liked. And a moth named Wooly will not be allowed to reside in a house with cashmere.

We had a worrisome little incident the other day which involved our fish. Our fish of Many Names -- Flip, Shish and Swimmy. I will call her Fish. She started to not swim as much and Don said it was because her cage, er I mean bowl was too small and fish need to swim and Fish was no exception. I would keep popping in to check on her. She'd be chillin', floating around until she saw me and then, as though to say "Hey Mom, I'm OK, really I am" she would start swimming again. Until she didn't. I noticed yesterday that she was lying in the bowl upside down. I kept checking to see if she was alive and she was. I was worried that she was in pain, and I have to admit that I had thought about sending her to the great graveyard in the ground, but I never did. Good thing because I guess last night my resident Fish Expert decided to Google her symptoms. He added a little sea salt to her bowl and some peas. Yep, peas! It turns out that,well, fish like humans can get a little backed up from time to time! Whooda thunk! My resident Fish Expert saved the day and saved our Fish!