Monday, September 5, 2011

Toads and frogs and toads, oh my!

Part 1.

Out on the mushroom farm there are a lot of frogs and toads. Months ago they were tiny things, but they have gotten a bit bigger, especially the frogs. The toads are still pretty small. There are so many you have to look down while walking or you may end up stepping on them. Jeremy sees all kinds of frogs/toads when he goes out to work - sometimes they're on the logs, sometimes in one of his stock tanks full of water, always hopping all over the place.

It makes me feel like I'm way out of town, out in the country (instead of on an old nursery lot in the suburbs) to have all these frogs and toads around. I had to share some pictures. It gave me an excuse to run around catching toads - uh, not that I really needed one! No frog pictures here - those guys are way too fast and almost never out in the open.

It's very wet at the farm so the frogs love it.

Get me outta here!

So little!

It was hard to get a good face shot. For some reason the camera wanted to focus on the back legs instead of the head. Someone with an awesome camera could get some even better shots. I'd have to go back at night with a flashlight to get some frog shots. They seem to hunker down at night and not move as much, or not be as skittish anyway.

Part 2.

Yesterday I noticed the garden was looking dry. I grabbed my trusty red watering can, plunked it down under the rain barrel and turned on the tap. I filled it right up, then picked up the can and proceeded to tip it over the nearest garden bed.

Nothing came out.

Not a single drop of water. What the...!?

I tipped again; nothing. There must be debris, leaves or something, stuck in the can. I unscrewed the head of the can and didn't see anything there. Then I looked in spout part and was shocked to see this:

Sorry, that's the best I could get. It was a toad face looking back at me! I was stunned. How on earth...? It must have been in the watering can and when I filled up the can the toad must have climbed up into the spout to escape.

I figured I'd just have to push it back down the spout. I got a little stick and tried to carefully push on the toad. It closed it's eyes up tight and sort of hunched up, like it was going to hold on for it's life. I stuck my finger in there and pushed on its poor little face. I didn't want to hurt it, but how else to get it out!? And it wasn't budging.

Stubborn little bugger.

So I put the spout right under the rain barrel spigot and turned on the water. After a minute I checked and saw the toad had slid or at least backed down an inch or two. I turned up the flow of water, sat back, and waited.

Another minute or two later, and plop! Out he came:

Holy cow!! He was huge!

How the heck did he fit that far up in that tiny space!?

He seemed none the worse for wear, but was very sluggish and slow to move for about 15 minutes. I put him in a shady garden patch and checked on him every few minutes. And then - he was gone.

I have no idea where a frog that big would come from. We do have a lake nearby, but 6 or 7 blocks seems like a long distance to come. Perhaps our raingardens are wetter than we thought!


Jane said...

You must have a wonderful bug and slug population that he was attracted to. I love having toads and had a nice big one in the greenhouse. Then the snake moved in and no more slug eater:( I would be bringing them home from your log farm.

Aimee said...

Hadn't thought about that. We don't have too many slugs, but we have lots of flies (thanks chickens!). If these guys could take care of the fly population, I'd bring a dozen home from the farm. =)

Aimee's Mom said...

lucky you - wish we had toads here - it would help with the slug population. Maybe next time you come out you could smuggle some in your purse?