A Toad in the Hand

I was working around an old rotting oak stump in the backyard yesterday.  It’s completely hollowed out, so I refreshed the dirt and transplanted a hibiscus that blooms red pie plate sized blossoms plus a Hosta and another plant.  On the outside a hickory tree is just getting started.  I have another hibiscus and small Hostas surrounding the stump.  While picking up some leaves I felt something squishy in my hand like a puffball or mushroom, but it’s too early for either.  Took a look and behold a big fat toad.  It had been warming itself in the sun.  I plopped it back where it had been until some giant had grabbed hold of it.  And on the other side of the stump I disturbed a baby toad.  So, I guess the large toad was a momma.  

They do it every year.  The first toad of the spring surprises and startles me with some movement under the leaves.  But I’m always delighted when I see it.  I have a comforting sense that all will be right with the world.

Last week we had the owls roosting in the pine trees in our yard.  However, this week they seem to have abandoned us.  Fickle birds.  So, this week I’m looking to see what small wonders might be scurrying about in the soil or just sitting working on their tan.

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