Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Toad on the Back Step

My husband opened the back door and found a toad on the back step. It was obviously a female, judging from her size. Female toads are much larger than males. When he opened the door, the dogs hopped right over her and went about their business in the yard. My husband called me over to show me the toad and she was trying to hop inside of the house. I suspect she may be the toe toad from our old house, the toad that spent her days sitting in the toe of my garden shoe.

I was worried that this might happen. She wasn't in the garden shoe when we moved, and odds were great that she was inside of one of my potted plants, but there was no way to tell. I couldn't dump out each plant and sift through the dirt trying to find her. We didn't have time.

As I worked on repotting a few plants yesterday I dumped a large pot with a plant that had died. I sifted the dirt gently with a hand shovel trying to loosen the dead plant roots without harming any creatures that might have made their home inside the pot. I only sifted through half the pot since that was all I needed to do to loosen the roots. I think it's possible the toad was in the dirt inside this pot.

I filled a bowl with water and set it by the back door, but the toad hopped through the yard, beneath the fence, and headed for the creek, which is on the south side of our neighbor's house. Toads need water, just like frogs. Perhaps not as much, but they still need water.

I suspect this might have been Mrs. Toady, the toad who lived inside my garden shoes, because she was completely unfazed by the dogs. Mrs. Toady would hop around the dogs as they walked across the patio and they never even stopped to sniff. I'm not sure how they came to this agreement, but it's always been that way. The first time I saw Mrs. Toady she dug her way out of a garden in the back yard of our old house and hopped up to my chocolate lab, Buddy, then hopped between my shoes. I knew then that we would have a long and happy relationship.

If it is Mrs. Toady, I hope she finds her way to water and a safe home. I preferred having her on our patio because of the constant flooding in this area. It seems much safer for her than living down by the creek. I will leave a bowl of water by my back door, just in case. At the old house, when she climbed out of the shoe at night, she would hop into the bowl of water to cool off.

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