It’s never the wrong time to call on Toad.
Early or late he’s always the same fellow.
Always good-tempered, always glad to see you, always sorry when you go!
The Wind in the Willows
We have an over-abundance of toads in our backyard, apparently. I’m identifying them as Fowler’s toads due to their bounty of warts and light stripe down their backs.
Fowler’s toads are nocturnal and have glands behind their eyes that secrete a nauseating toxin as a defense mechanism against hungry predators. So if your dog or your kid brings you one, you’ll want to wash hands/mouths accordingly. (Your dog’s mouth. Your kid’s hands. Hopefully.)
Toads in the yard are a good thing, though (maybe less so if your kid is bringing them to you in his mouth). A single adult toad can eat 10,000 insects over the course of an average summer, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Talk about non-toxic pest control!
A quick online search indicates they smell like unroasted peanuts. I cannot confirm or deny at this time, as I have not thought to give them a good whiff, but I’ll keep it in mind for my next sighting. I should probably also re-familiarize myself with the smell of unroasted peanuts.
And now I want hot fresh-roasted peanuts. They used to sell them at a small produce shop in town and my mom would always buy me a bag… you could smell them from blocks away. Does anyone sell them anymore?
My only beef with my warty friends: they are constantly sitting just outside my doors, patiently waiting to be let in. It’s weird— and dangerous. I’ve accidentally closed one in my bedroom sliding glass door.
I’m glad they’ve come to call, I guess, but… Mr. Toad, perhaps you could text me first? Your perpetual “just dropping in” kinda creeps me out.