Friday, April 27, 2012

A Toad in the Garden

      This will be my fourth year working my plot at the park.  How could a piece of ground in a designated garden area ever have been so abused?  I found no evidence whatsoever of organic matter having been added to the soil. It was nothing but hard clay, not a worm in sight.  I had to dig little holes and fill them with my home garden compost to get anything in the ground.  As I have improved the soil with leaf mold and wood chips in the paths, critters have moved in.  I found a huge earthworm last week, and I have ranted about the voles being everywhere.  The beneficial bug bed with perennial flowers now has the Shasta Daisies in bloom, and they are hopping with lots of dwarf beneficial wasps.  Honeybees are swarming to the kale with its tall yellow stalks in flower.
     As I was in the garden yesterday, I saw movement from the corner of my eye.  A blowing leaf?  The movement was not fast enough to be one of the dastardly voles.  Surveying the bed, I could not find the leaf, so stood perplexed.  And then I saw a little indentation in the dirt, and in that hole was a toad!  A beauty of a toad, basking in his ugliness.

Mr. Toad,  4/26/2012
      See him hiding there, right in the middle.  Minding his own business, probably wishing I would go away.

      No chance Mr. Toad, this is a big happening.  My garden is smack dab in the middle of probably 80 plots that are 20 feet by 40 feet.  Never before had I seen a toad in my garden, nor in many walks around the entire community gardens.  He had to have had a pretty determined hop to get out to here.  And a pretty smart toad to set up shop in my "No Till Zone."  It is not pleasant to envision the outcome of a toad meets roto tiller encounter.  I would bet on the tiller every time.  No surprise outcome where the tortoise beats the hare.  So he found himself a very hospitable piece of garden real estate.  I am going to take a water bowl to the park today, to hopefully encourage him to stay around by fulfilling his water needs.

      Here is the view from the other side.  I was trying to find his handsome side, but I am not sure which side is better.  So why am I happy to be visited by Mr. Toad?  His diet consists of only live bugs and crawlies.  Cutworms.  Slugs.  Yummy.  Please enjoy your summer here Mr. Toad.  And many happy returns.


  1. He should like that water bowl. Glad he took up residence in your garden!