Friday, August 1, 2008

Things That Make You Go "Hmmmm. . . "

When my dear husband and I got back home from our evening out yesterday, our resident toad appeared to be trying to figure out how to get into the dishwasher. I could swear I heard him say as we walked into the kitchen from the garage "Hey, um, could someone open the door for me please? It's dark and wet in there, and since I'm here I'd like to make myself more comfortable."

Now, you may be wondering the same thing we were by now, which was "How the heck did the toad get in the house?" The doors were locked, so we know he didn't just let himself in while we were gone.

My husband is famous at work for practical jokes - all harmless, and all in good fun. And let me tell you, he's played some doosies! Let's just say if you work for him, you might want to keep your birthday confidential in case you don't want to come to work one day and find everything in your office wrapped in bubble wrap, or if you'd rather not come to work on your birthday and find farm animals in your office.

So you can understand why for a moment I wondered. . . But I know him well enough to know he wouldn't bring a potentially salmonella-carrying creature into the kitchen to play with me, no matter how funny he might have thought that would be.

And me, well, I'm so fond of this little guy I wouldn't intentionally cause him trauma or put him in danger like that. Not with George around, and not considering all the spaces he could hide, like behind the refrigerator, under the sofa, or any other of the multitude of places a frightened toad might go seeking protection.

So how did our slug-eating buddy end up in our kitchen? We have no idea. We were out on the patio before leaving for the evening. Did he follow us, hopping up the two steps and in the back door? without us even noticing? Hmmmm. . . Did I bring any plants inside yesterday? He's been known to bury himself in the soil of my containers. No. . . Hmmmm . . . what about that container of mesquite chips I brought in a couple of days ago after my husband grilled? Well, that's a possibility, except I saw the toad outside the next evening, and the chips were already in. Besides, how would he have gotten up on our patio table and into the container, which is about a foot tall?

The mesquite chips seem to be the most plausible theory, and if that's what happened, then we have more than one toad living in our garden. It's ironic that he'd hide in the mesquite chips, especially considering I've recently discovered he lives under the smoker in the corner of the patio when he's not hunting slugs in the garden. Lucky for him, we don't eat frog's legs. (or toad's legs either.)

We may never know how this little guy got into our kitchen. Thankfully he's not scared of me, and let me pick him up and bring him back outside.

There you go little guy! Now you stay outside! We like you alot, but it's just not safe for you in the house. No, don't eat the worm - I don't want you to get filled up before you eat your 50-100 slugs for the night, ok? Oh, and remind me to wipe that splatter off the bottom of the dishwasher, will you?


  1. That was a caring and thoughtful thing to do. I always try to help any little bug or insect that wanders in, if I can. But just for the rocord,,,lizards will bite you. lol

  2. Lord help any froggie that may wander into my kitchen! My two kitties would go nuts batting the thing around. I have two playful cats and one sits at the glass doors and windows and hunts tree frogs each night! They like to climb on the glass to hunt bugs attracted to the lights inside. Cat drives me nuts with meows trying to get the frogs. Froggie says nanny nanny boo boo you can’t get me! Drives my Cheetah nuts! LOL...

  3. Hey Linda,
    I tried to get over to you last night from "reader" and couldn't open Garden Girl either. Glad you're up and at 'em again.

    Thanks for your advice on blogger and sitemeter. I ended up not removing sitemeter and I guess now blogger has their side of the problem fixed so I can open my blog now. blah, blah...

    Now to your little friend in the kitchen. We do find lizards in our house because I am certain they come in through the patio doors when left open... never a toad but we have had very scary looking giant tree frogs in the house over the years. Well... they might not scare everyone but I simply like them to stay in their own habitat and leave mine alone. You know with their enormously webbed feet and all and that jumping thing they are likely to do ... they can be scary.

    We also had the fun of rescuing a snake (not poisonous)out of the hallway a few weeks back (at midnight). Now that is not fun. We have NO IDEA how it got into the house. It makes us wonder how long it has been in the house and how many times we might have missed seeing it when walking by it or maybe sat down on a chair it was hiding under... definitely things that make you go hmmmmm. or in this case yikes!

    Glad you came home to find your toad out in the open. Fortunately they are fairly easy to rescue and he was probably quite happy to be back in his own environment after his slight detour.

    Have a great Saturday!

  4. Anonymous2:03 PM

    Well, I think he's a "looker," but everyone knows I like toads. They seem harmless enough to me. And do a good job of eating things I don't want to touch. Give him a name and a little toad abode. Probably won't live in it, but it will be his "place." (I'd sure rather have a toad in the house than anything resembling a snake!)

  5. I'll bet you've got several toads. It's hard to tell them apart. We're always having to rescue toads from the window wells, but so far none have actually made it into the house.

  6. Aw, thank you Eve. And so sorry about the lizard bite! :-O

    Nancy, it was definitely a surprise!

    My mom was always picking up critters to show us when we were little, including turtles, toads, and even snakes. (I do remember her being bitten by a snake once, but it was just a garden snake - nothing poisonous.) When I see a toad outside I've often petted it and talked to it. They're very docile, and don't seem afraid of us.

    Skeeter, I'm glad we saw him before George did! I don't think he'd eat the toad, but he'd probably try to play with him, and that would likely be the end of the toad.

    I can imagine watching the antics of the cats on one side and the frogs teasing them on the other! With entertainment like that, who needs TV!

    Meems, I'm glad your sitemeter woes have been resolved. Guess I should have just been patient and waited for them to fix it, since it wasn't long after I took it off that they fixed it.

    I have relatives in Florida I've visited, and even though their entire yard is screened, they still have all manner of lizards and frogs in there, and occasionally in the house too. The toads aren't scary, but all the same, like you I prefer amphibians and reptiles not to trespass inside!

    I definitely wouldn't be thrilled to find a snake in the house. I'm glad yours wasn't a poisonous one. I imagine there are some poisonous snakes in your neck of the woods.

    I'm thinking the toad really did come in with the wood chips. They were nice and wet. If so that means he was in the house for a couple of days before we found him out in the open.

    I didn't even see him when I first came in. My husband pointed him out. It was quite an amusing, and jaw-dropping moment! I'm glad they're easy to catch. I hope you had a great Saturday! Mine was awesome - we had a birthday party for my grandson who turned five this week. Lotsa fun!

    Brenda, they're just the cutest little things. I think you're right, he does need a name. He's already found a nice home under the smoker, and since it's not often used he's undisturbed. I have a water bowl out there for George, and when I fill his bowl, I spray some on the patio to trickle down into his spot. I think he likes that and it's been encouragement for him to stay there. It's a nice safe spot, and George can't get to him there. A toad house or two in the garden can't hurt, and maybe would even attract more of them to the garden.

    My hostas are looking very nice this year, and this is the first year I've seen toads around here. I don't think that's a coincidence.

    He is very handsome, isn't he! I just love their camouflage colors. I'm not afraid of snakes, but I'll take the toad in the house over a snake any day.

    MMD, I've only ever seen one at a time, but I think you're probably right and we have more than one.

    They don't get a chance to get at our window wells since they're screened and covered, but I can imagine they must be attracted to cool, moist window wells! How kind of you to rescue them. They're nice to have around - outside, that is - and certainly perform a valuable service in the garden. :)

  7. Linda,

    Godness, I want a toad or two! I haven't sen any around here...they must need more water!

    Hey there...I found out that we who removed sitemeter html from out blogs withpit saving it, can log onto sitemeter with our special code name then click on manager and get the individualized sitemeter html again for I am going to do that tonight....maybe you have already figured this out!


  8. Thanks for the tip Gail! I put the sitemeter back on and all seems to be fine.

    I wish you had some toads. They're so cute, and such valuable garden helpers. This is the first year I've seen them, and I think they are breeding in the swale way in the back of our yard.

    Toads in the garden seem to be one of the (few) benefits of the loss of our neighbor's weeping willow tree. Since it's rapid decline last year and coming down last winter, the swale is wet most of the year in one small spot. Small though it is, it's big enough for tadpoles.

  9. That is funny! But I think I still have my bets on hubby.

  10. Garden Girl what a great post !
    I wish I had some of these in my garden but not so far .. one year I did have a little frog who sang for me when I watered the garden (sprinkling water on him in the shrubs .. it was so touching it gave me goosebumps) .. I miss that.
    Reading your story was such a treat ! .. Thank you : )
    PS .. a mystery never to be solved ? LOL

  11. Anonymous8:24 PM

    You told that like a real toad lover. I would have been on a cleaning binge after I sent him back outside. No telling where he jumped after he got inside. Did you clean your toothbrush? If he can jump just as high as it seems--then I bet he brushed his teeth before he tried to get in the dishwasher. It's probably been years since he last brushed. Are you grossed out yet?

  12. Hi Tina, I don't know about hubby. . . compared to me he's a bit of a germ-o-phobe. Probably comes from all those years I've played in the dirt. It doesn't phase me. But even I wash my hands very thoroughly after handling amphibians, reptiles, or rodents. He just doesn't touch them at all.

    Hi Joy, I'm glad to have entertained you! I wish you had some toads too. They are very curious creatures. I find them fascinating. I've always loved frogs, toads, and turtles.

    Hi Anna, yep, guilty as charged. I think they're just adorable. The cleaning I did was after looking at the picture. I noticed the streaks on the dishwasher and the dog hair (and even some of my hair :O on the floor!) But yeah, just in case, I also washed the floor and the countertops.

    Hopefully our toothbrushes upstairs were spared, because I didn't disinfect them. EEEEWWWW! I'm hoping the toad was only on the first floor, not upstairs. Now I'm picturing it hopping up all 13 stairs to get to the bedrooms and our master bath. If it was near our toothbrushes, maybe it was even in our bed too. Yuck! Yes, I'm grossed out now! Gee, thanks!

  13. How funny! Beckie at Dragonfly Corner had a toad in her house a few months ago, too, but she suspected her granddaughters were the culprits.
    Glad you put him back in the garden; I'm sure you're both happier with him eating slugs than food scraps in the dishwasher:)

  14. Hi Rose, coming home and finding a toad in the kitchen was very amusing! I haven't seen any toads since our little visitor was emancipated. He's probably off telling his friends about his big adventure.

  15. I love toads, I don't see many in the city here, perhaps I'll have to capture some and bring them home with me :).

  16. ::shudder::

    You mentioned slugs. Help! They are all over the porch which is just a wooden low porch off the driveway. They are so big and thick. ::shudder:: Is salt the best to sprinkle on the area? I can't imagine that any living being eats these things.



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