They are no longer active and the tunnels they left behind periodically collapse to provide an entrance to the underground labyrinth. A fresh opening at the end of one of my garden beds showed signs of movement inside, so I went to investigate.
An American Toad was using the
mole tunnel as a daytime retreat.
Toads have always been a favorite of
mine. When I was nine years old, my best
friend through the summer was a toad. He
lived in a shaded pen in the flower bed and I took him out every day to hunt
for food. As I turned stones or dug
through the soil, he would climb over my fingers in an effort to be right up
front when a tasty morsel was unearthed.
When school began in the fall, I just removed the walls of his pen and
left him to forage on his own.
I dropped a
couple of earthworms down the hole for this guy.
The toad ate every worm I sent its way, but the best view I got was of
the toad with a worm end sticking from its mouth.
The worm was taken and swallowed before my
camera could react. I think the toad got
full, because after a few worms, it crawled on down the tunnel and
Built specifically for use by breeding toads,
the toad pool has yet to receive its first toad egg. To be fair, the pool has only been in
existence for two breeding seasons. With
toad numbers on the decline at Blue Jay Barrens, I am hopeful that the addition
of suitable breeding sites will reverse that trend and result in toad
encounters once again being a common occurrence.
will be next year that the toads prove that the toad pool idea was properly
conceived and executed. The pool has
attracted a wide variety of wildlife, but until the toads arrive, I’ll have to
consider the project to be a failure.
Salmon and Salad Dinner
8 hours ago