Ribbit

When we moved here there was grass, trees, and little else growing on our property.  Over time we have carved gardens out of the grass, stopped using chemicals, and let a few areas go a bit to the wild side.

Why?

To make room for the little guys who keep the Farmlet bug and rodent free. Birds, snakes, spiders, and toads all do their job to help me keep the Farmlet a poison free zone.

I think it is working, because I have been seeing a lot of these guys around…

My little friend here is a Fowler’s Toad.  It likes to burrow underground when it gets too cold in winter.  Apparently, we now have quite a few of these here because we have many little toad holes this spring.  I always wondered what came out of those holes.

Now your thoughts may differ, but I find him beautiful.

~*~

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42 thoughts on “Ribbit

  1. magsx2 says:

    Hi,
    Animals are amazing with all their different ways, I love the idea that these toads live underground during winter, they’re not stupid. 😀

    • pixilated2 says:

      Hibernation, down in a hole in the ground keeps them insulated. I wonder how far down that hole has to be to keep them from freezing in winter? Hm, maybe I should stick something down there and try to find out. 🙂
      ~ L

  2. annashortcakes says:

    I do too! I think the little suction cups on their toes are so fascinating! I love frogs and toads. Especially if they seem to be looking for buttons (have u read that book?).

  3. dogear6 says:

    I love having toads in the yard! Unfortunately the clay is so bad here that nothing lives, not even worms. Although the ticks are doing good so far this year. Yuck.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Nancy,
      Amend, amend, amend! Mulch, compost, and amend some more! We have yucky red clay here and I am slowly converting it to humus rich soil. It is a lot of work though. Huf-puf…

  4. promenadeplantings says:

    We have toads but they don’t bury themselves in the soil, they tend to live over winter under rocks and in wood and leaf piles. I’ve seen them partially buried in the summer when it’s warm, with their faces peeking out – for some reason they seem to like the pots of geraniums to do this!

    • pixilated2 says:

      Claire, do you think they prefer the potted geraniums because the soil is kept moist? I am imagining that the extra moisture and the clay pot would make a nice cool environment. Hm, or perhaps it is because the potting soil is easier to dig into! ~ L

    • pixilated2 says:

      Anke, I have to be honest… while I do appreciate the service that snakes provide in reducing the rodent populous… they do take me aback when I run into them here. Just for a moment, and until my brain sorts out if they are poisonous or not! ~ L

  5. hotlyspiced says:

    He might not be the most attractive little guy but he is very useful and he has a place on your farmlet. Looking forward to following your blog and seeing more images of your surrounds xx

  6. shoreacres says:

    Toad houses are big things around here – they’re like little clay flowerpots turned upside down and tucked here and there for frogs and toads to stay cooler in the heat of day. They’re a nice garden addition in the land of clay soil!

    I’m glad you added the measurements. I first saw tree frogs in Louisiana a couple of years ago, and couldn’t believe that something that small could make such a racket. I’ve always thought I’m hearing mole crickets when the underground sounds start here in spring – perhaps there are some frogs, too.

    • pixilated2 says:

      I usually find these guys in their holes (when I am digging… YIKES) or in the deeper reaches of my gardens when I am weeding. They also like piles of leaves too, but I think I might like to set up a few toad stations and see if any are interested. BTW the holes I have seen are usually about 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter if that helps you with the ID and toad spotting!

      I had never heard of a Mole Cricket before so I went looking and found an interesting video of one. For those who might wonder, the fellow never harmed the mole cricket, though in a surprise, and rather darkly humorous end, he did elude to its demise. 😉 Watch the video here: http://youtu.be/kv_tqapsM9M

  7. littlesundog says:

    We have lots of toads here. I talk to them sometimes. One morning I bid a toad “Good morning, Sir” and went about my work in the flower beds. An hour later I saw something veeeeery strange. It appeared to be a snake… but it had a leg… in its mouth. Oh no!! All too soon, I realized my morning toad had become Mr. Garter Snakes BREAKFAST!! I did not know snakes ate big toads!

    • pixilated2 says:

      Lori,
      They are capable of eating quite large ‘things’ when they are hungry. It’s those jaws that can unhinge that get the job done.
      Unnerving, yes?
      Sorry about your little toady. 😦
      ~ L

    • pixilated2 says:

      Thank you Sawsan! It was always a dream of mine too. I think I got the gene from my dad… he was a gardener as well. Anyway, the dream was always kept alive via small scale, postage stamp sized, gardening. Then we moved here 4 years ago! Someday your dream will come true. ~ L

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