Garden bloggers are full of information. I, for one, had no idea of Save the Frogs Day until I read Susan Harris’ post on Garden Rant. Simply clicking on the highlighted links will provide you with ample history, information, and wonderfully musical sounds. I’m fortunate enough to live in the midst of a hardwood forest, and therefore can frequently enjoy similar frog serenades, but my interest in frogs, toads, salamanders and the like grew when my little brother wanted to keep the toad he found in the yard as his pet. I obliged by helping him build a shoe box home complete with a water dish, moss, and small plants. We committed to catch live insects for Mr. Toad every day, and to let Mr. Toad go back home in a week. We learned that toads absorb water by resting in shallow pools. They sit and wait for prey … if you blink you’ve missed the meal. We also learned that toads eat many more bugs than we had time to catch. When we returned Mr. Toad from his/hers –its gender remained a question – forced ‘vacation’ we found toads do not stray too far from home. We were able to continue our observation of Mr. Toad’s life throughout the summer.
To this day I enjoy watching toads in my gardens to see where they rest during the heat of the day and where they hunt for prey. I do my best to maximize their presence by gardening organically, insuring toads have ample places to hide, and treading carefully to avoid disturbing their homes. In return, toads – and their cousins – help keep the insect population in check and remind me that gardeners do best when we acknowledge the benefits we gain from sharing our space with other creatures.
To see actual photos of adult and non-adult toads, frogs, salamanders, and newts common in Connecticut visit John Himmelman’s Connecticut Amphibians website. Some photos have links of Connecticut’s frog and toad songs … thanks John.