A Hopping Good Time

When I went out my back gate this morning to pull weeds out in front of my driveway again — all this rain we’re having is making it impossible to keep ahead of the growth, especially since I’m used to a drier and sunnier climate — I got a glimpse of movement. It took me a while to see the culprit because it looked like nothing more than a clod of dirt, but then I looked closer and realized what it was.

Seeing a toad is good luck, not just because it’s a rare occurrence for me, but because toads prey on various insects, and all this moisture is bringing the insects out in force. I was bedeviled by gnats when I was out, and I’ve already been bitten by mosquitoes a couple of times. Despite the toad being a good omen, I have a hunch the mosquitoes will make this a miserable summer, though I do have insect repellent for my face and hands and I will spray my clothes to add a different layer of protection.

But that’s a problem for another day.

Today I just want to enjoy knowing that a toad visited my yard.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.

A Gardening Success

I’m not a great gardener. At least not yet. I am a great learner, so there is a chance that one day I will have a garden showplace. One of my favorite pastimes in the morning before it heats up too much to sit in the sun is to relax on my beautiful bench and dream that garden into being. A plum tree over there. A honeysuckle vine or two behind the gazebo. A hydrangea between those two bushes.

For now, though, I’m grateful for every bush or plant or transplant I can keep alive.

Still, I consider myself a gardening success because I have managed to attract toads! It’s nothing I have done in particular except maybe watering my bushes and staying away from weed-killing chemicals, but I still feel vindicated as a gardener.

Although some people don’t like toads in their gardens, I like the little creatures. Not only do they eat copious insects, but they tickle me the way they turn their backs and wait motionlessly for the big bad human to pass them by. I’m sure they aren’t as pleased as I am. The poor things are probably terrified, but except for a couple of hours a day, they have the yard to themselves. The feral cats might find their way inside at times, but no dogs or other non-climbing creature can disturb the peace.

Mostly, they make themselves scarce, so I seldom see them, and certainly not long enough to take a photo.

I wonder if the toads would like a house? Some do, apparently. I was thinking of ordering a toad house, but while I was debating, the house sold and an alternate seller wanted way more than I thought it was worth. I could make a house, I suppose, but then I’d be getting away from a cute decoration into the whole messing with nature thing. It’s probably best to let the little creatures fend for themselves and count myself lucky they are doing their fending in my yard.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator