Sunday, May 18, 2014


I was pleased to give a workshop this weekend at a nice local nursery  on making a toad habitat in the  yard.  Many people were interested and wanted to do this.  It can be nice and simple or become a wonderful water feature.  This is part of my display.

 Follow this link to the tutorial :     GARDEN TOAD HABITAT TUTORIAL

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


At my mountain location, it is the end of March and we are having warm gentle rains.
We have moved and have a new yard this Spring, more in town than our previous home, so it will be interesting to see if any toads appear. We will be ready!
I am working on a "Making a Toad Habitat" tutorial, which I will post a link there when it is done.  Remember Toads are the gardener's BEST friend, one toad eats thousands of insects a month, earwigs, slugs, squash beetles, flies, wasps..all the things we wish to rid the gardens of. They are gentle, harmless creatures who respond to human kindness.  Let's encourage them and protect their habitats!

Elements for a toad habitat

The finished Toad habitat.  All the intermediate steps will be in my  coming  tutorial!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Toad 3 appears!

I am pretty sure this is Niko's toad "Jedediah" , he came in last night

Saturday, April 21, 2012

First Toad of 2012 , little guy

This little fellow was out in the gravel in the hot sun of the front yard. I steered him over to the little toad pond in the front garden bed. So cute!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Another little friend joins the ranks! Toad number 5

This little fellow was found late at night in the long dusty driveway, going who knows where and almost getting squished... He was put in the pond and has actually stayed around it now, for over a week. This little fellow looks as if he has stories to tell,, seems kind of old and weary.  I hope life will improve at the pond with lots of plants and bugs about.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Toad 4 comes from the orchard

The other night we were roasting hot dogs at the outside fire pit. When it got dark I heard the little rustling in the grass that I have come to expect is a toad traveling. On closer inspection I found a toad that I have not seen before coming through the vegetable garden near the fence, heading toward the pond.
Yay, toad number four!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Stella and Jed return

A couple weeks ago a Garter snake cruised through the pond, looking for a meal, even though I chased it away, I never knew if it came back. Following that incident, the toads were not seen except once at night, for this long period of time. Also, many of the  mosquito fish and pollywogs disappeared. Some of the pollywogs no doubt grew up and left the pond, as there are baby Chorus frogs all about.  There was also a water bug called a "boatman" in the pond that dives down and flies, this insect kills fish and small pond life.
I had put more baby fish from another little pond in and cleaned the water.  So this morning Stella and Zed were lounging in the pond. Such a great sight to see them! Certainly made my day!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Habitat is made and toads are coming!

It is very rewarding to have two Western Toads that have shown up at the pond I made this Spring, I have not seen a toad around for 4 years.  This experience, of making a habitat, waiting & having toads appear, has repeated itself several times for me, in the various places I have lived.  Each time it happens, that a toad comes on its own, I am slightly awed and amazed! So make a place and they will come!  They are now living around the pond, there are a lot of houses about and I do not know if they are in them or just in the rocks. This also shows that toads, even though they are home bodies and tend to stay at the same place, will relocate for a better habitat the fills their required needs of having a water source.  I have a lot of small solar lights, which I think attract the bugs at night, making an easy feast for the toads!   I have heard many stories of the toads sitting in a circle at night under the bug zappers people would hang out to get mosquitoes and I joke about it being McDonald's for the toads!  The other story I hear a lot is the one about the toad coming and soaking in the dog water dish and then leaving. This would happen if there were no other sources for the toads to sit and soak up water, since they do not drink through there mouths.
Please try making a toad pond, the birds also love them.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Toad habitats 1

A likely toad habitat is a seasonal wetland area, these seasonal ponds and water ways are called "vernal pool " habitats.  In California the vernal pool ecosystems are among the most threatened habitats.  This is primarily from human land development. The cycle of the vernal pools is that in meadows and  woodland fields, water accumulates from run off and winter precipitation and stays long enough for toads and frogs to breed in and hatch eggs, was well as other species. The pollywogs go through their cycle, growing legs to emerge as a frog or toad before the water dries up.  In wet years more off spring survive, such as the year of 2011 in our neck of the woods, a high water year, producing a lot of pollywogs(see pictures).  The vernal pool habitats produce a very unique set of wild flowers and plant species, also threatened.  I am fortunate to have vernal pool habitats in the vicinity where I live and am watching the pollywogs, also called  tadpoles,  grow their legs before the water dries up! Phew!