Sunday, July 24, 2011
Meet: The Toads
Living in the city is not conducive to activities like finding toads in one's garden. Between all the dogs, cats, weeds, dry lawns, and concrete, cities just don't make good toad habitat.
So we decided to import some.
Meet Hopsy and Giant Joe, two toads the girls caught at their grandma's house last night. We brought them home in quart-sized yogurt containers and set them free in the cold frame.
Of course, they weren't in the cold frame when we woke up this morning. But as I was harvesting garlic this evening (a long-overdue task) Hopsy leaped out from under my hand and scared the bejeezus out of me, as toads are wont to do. Giant Joe was nearby - finding both toads still in the garden made the girls quite happy.
We wanted them to know they are welcome and encourage them to stay and live here (as opposed to going next door and being eaten by the neighbor's chickens*) so we made them little toad houses.
Small flower pots, decorated with flat glass marbles (because we decorate just about everything around here,) and buried a bit. It gives the toad a dirt floor, shelter from the heat of the day, and the terra cotta stays damp and cool, which toads like. Of course, black widows also like dark and damp areas, so maybe we're just encouraging poisonous spiders to come live in our garden. We'll see.
*My neighbor clearly does not value her tomato plants as much as I do. Either that, or her chickens haven't found them yet... or she hasn't caught them. Regardless, her ten chickens still roam her yard freely. I'm a control freak, and I love ripe tomatoes that haven't been pecked to death by chickens. My chickens have a lovely little fenced yard now, and are allowed to run free only when I'm there to watch them and chase them from the garden.