My metamorphosis

Credit: Robert Neubecker

I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, in a lower-middle-class suburban neighborhood on the outskirts of Columbus. Our home didn't have air conditioning or cable television, so there was little reason to ever be inside. At 10 years old, I was allowed to roam the neighborhood unsupervised. I bicycled everywhere, climbed trees to catch tree frogs, and searched for aquatic life in the local creeks, among other clothes-ruining endeavors. One formative experience occurred at a housing development a mile from my home, when I came across a pool of water in the massive tire tracks of a dump truck. It was 2 feet deep and muddy. I peered into the pool, holding my small, green net in one hand and a bucket in the other, searching for movement. I spotted my quarry in the warm, shallow edges: dime-sized black spots zooming to the depths as my shadow passed. Tadpoles! (Keep reading at Science.)

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