Tuesday, August 22, 2006

GAIA LUNA: Toad Abode

If you build it, they will come.

No, I haven't been hearing voices in a corn field, but I did find an old broken terracotta flowerpot in the barn. I've read that they make good houses for garden toads, so I built this little toad abode, hoping I would find someone to come live in my garden and eat the bugs there.

I spent most of the day on Tuesday (my day without lessons to teach) weeding and mulching the strawberry bed and surrounding ring of lambs ears at the center of Gaia Luna.

Late in the afternoon, as I came into the house get a drink of water, something unusual caught my eye. Just inside the screen door, sitting crouched in the corner of the door jam was little gray frog about two inches long, like a gray stone with shiny black eyes. He looked a lot like this.

Gray Treefrog© David Liebman (from first link, below)

At the time, I didn't know he was a frog. He looked to me like a toad, warty lumps and all, so I carefully picked him up and took him out to his new home, confident that destiny had brought him right to my doorstep. We occasionally see frogs, toads and salamanders in the woods, very rarely near the house. Never inside!

After my new amphibious friend was comfortably settled into his custom-made accommodations, I came inside to to see if I could discover his true identity. While I was carrying him out to the garden I'd noticed that the under sides of his hind legs were bright yellow. This helped me to identify him. He was a Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor), not a toad at all. Here's another link where you can learn about Gray Treefrogs.

When I came back to check on him the next morning, I was not surprised to find that he had hopped off to find a more watery habitat in the wooded wetlands at the back of our field.

My initial impressions were colored by what I wished to see, hindered by my inexperience identifying local amphibians.

How many women have had this experience when their Frog Prince turned out to be a toad instead? I'm glad my Quiet Little Life already includes someone with whom to share it. I don't have to worry about the treacherous world of the Lily Pond of Love.

Meanwhile, the Toad Abode waits for a more permanent occupant.

©2006 Kay Pere - Effusive Muse Publishing

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