Monday, 2 May 2016

To Ed.

What an interesting day it was today, it started out quite sunny, as if a bank holiday Monday might be a fine day for a change. So I sauntered into the garden, to inspect a hole that I'm preparing for a laundry pole. I dug it a little deeper than it probably needs to be, because I like my laundry about fifteen foot off the ground and the last pole started to shift in the ground under the tension of the washing line. Only yesterday I was thinking that the hole might represent a hazard for passing wild life, in the same manner as a tiger trap. So what do I find when I peer into the hole, what else would it be but a toad? That's right, toad in the hole, so I thought bugger, I'm gonna have to fetch him out. Meanwhile I'll try pouring some water in, even though he's not in direct sunlight, he still must be a bit dehydrated. Well the water going in makes him fidget a bit and he does manage to get about a third the way out of the hole but not far enough. So I stick a hoe in, reasoning that he might climb up the pole. I took a break at this juncture, popping to the corner shop for tea and fags and by the time I get back to the toad, it's about an hour and half later, the sun has gone and we're well into bank holiday weather, leaden skies, rain threatening. There he is back at the bottom of the hole, only he's conveniently sitting on the blade of the hoe; I did put on some rubber gloves (toads are poisonous to touch aren't they?) but I don't need 'em. I manage to fetch him out and he hops of the end of the hoe into next door's garden; there's a hen in mine and I don't want it poisoned with toad on the menu. I used to get a lot of toads in the garden, no idea where they come from, the nearest gravel pit's about half a mile away, I suppose this must just be one of their places.


  1. If you wanted shot of him, you should've just toed him in the hole (boom-boom). I like toads - Mr. Toad from The Wind In The Willows is a hero of mine. I found a toad (or frog maybe) in my garden last week, but it was dead. I poured some water over him on the off-chance it might revive him (in case he was just comatose), but there was no miraculous revival. I was going to bury him, but decided to leave him to nature as part of the food chain. Maybe a fox got him - I haven't checked.

    1. I think the key to identification between frog and toad, is that frogs spend their time in water, so there needs to be a pond or such like nearby for a frog. I'm not too sure about that though, because this one did look quite froggy and there are no ponds in the street. I've done a bit of time observing wild life and can attest to the fact that the received wisdom on such issues, as gained from popular and academic sources, is occasionally awry.

      Interesting that we both encountered amphibians in the garden last week, I've seen 'em breeding on occasion but it was earlier in the year. Maybe they wait for a warm spell before the sap rises.