Today was a great day for gardening. Our helper came over after the rain - soon after I found our rose romantic was visiting on Saturday. I wanted to finish the Creature Convention Center and move the logs.
As soon as we moved one log, a large toad appeared, looking bored and placid. I was delighted, learning tonight that toads love logs.
In general, logs left on the ground are great habitats for insects, birds, and toads. We had enough small ones to create circles around the back bushes.
My shallow pans of water are doubtless handy for the toads. They need to hydrate (not swim, not drink) each day. They sit in shallow water for that. I think of the shallow pans as bird friendly, but they also support the freeloading squirrels and the hard-working toads.
Last year a small toad appeared under the water pan I kept under the faucet, to make sure animals always had fresh water near the house. Sassy's outdoor activity is brief, but she does use that water from time to time. Another toad was in the front yard, where I keep another pan for catching faucet water.
Currently I have 12 shallow pans with clean water, and they need tending twice a day.
We finished the Creature Convention Center quickly. It is simply two large plastic sheets, 60 inches by 30 inches, separated by blocks from Mrs. Wright's yard. The birds and squirrels loved it from the start. The blocks and levels create extra nooks for food, shade, and mischief. The file cabinet drawer, with food in it, is often the scene of a squirrel popping out to scare a starling away from the grub. The file cabinet is falling apart in the rain, so we had to upgrade.
A complete tutorial about toad habitats.
Toads get rid of garden insects - at a prodigious rate.
An eccentric article on toads and toad houses.
Reversing the amphibian decline.
Toad of Toad Hall is one of the greatest characters in children's literature. The Wind in the Willows is a favorite of adults and children alike.
|The window screen effect is from Amazon, where this castle for toads|
can be purchased for $70 or more.
|This link tells about building a toad house -|
I did the same when I cracked a clay pot from Lowe's - 88 cents.
But I cracked six of them.
|This looks like a fine place to live.|
Two other ways to welcome toads are:
- Eliminate all pesticides.
- Eliminate herbicides and fungicide.
As I mentioned before with the myth of hawks controlling the rabbit population - they have it upside down. Hawks can only grow in numbers if they have enough meat. Therefore, the rabbit population controls the numbers of hawks.
If the gardeners want to kill off all the insects with pesticides and systemic poisons, then the creatures eating them - like toads - will go elsewhere. And then the pests will return without beneficial creatures in large numbers to devour them before they take over.
|Retaking Toad Hall|