Toad in the Hole

Today’s post is from Jacque

OKOKOKO. I will start this acknowledging that the little critter in the picture is a frog.  But “Toad in the Hole” is a vastly better title of this post than frog in the hole.  So there it is.

Every summer we share our front patio area, just outside the front door, with the local frog population.  And every summer a frog takes up residence in the spout of the watering can that I keep out there for watering plants or putting water in the dog bowl.    Saturday morning I was weeding and cleaning up the flowers after the big wind and rain storm last week end.  The dogs were in the yard with me.  I always keep water available for them.  As I attempted to pour the water, it was obvious it was clogged.  And yes indeed, it was the annual frog.

It eventually popped out of the spout into the dog water dish.  Bootsy immediately started lapping water, seeming not to care a bit if there was a frog in her water.  It just stayed there for awhile.  Later it returned to the spout, and I asked Lou to tip it forward to get the picture.

These frogs are a wonder.  There are many of them.  When my mother would visit in the summer, she loved sitting out there and watching them, too.  That was the cheapest entertainment ever.  I do not know how the frogs decide who gets to hang out in the spout.  I suspect it is first come first serve.  They seem to change colors, blending in with the bricks in a dull brown, or turning a bright green.  And when they croak, we swear Godzilla is there on the patio with us (see VS’s recent Godzilla in the garden fantasy post).  In the evenings, there is always one that sits behind the porch light, croaking.  Godzilla in your ear.

What is outside your front door?


55 thoughts on “Toad in the Hole”

  1. Albino squirrels.
    Amphibians of any species are amazing. For several years I volunteered to Hamlin University and a frog census. Learning to identify varieties was especially satisfying. Toads have a lovely call that belies their appearance.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. There are at least two projects mapping the prevalence of albino squirrels and that rely on citizen reports for their data. Google “albino squirrel tracking” for the sites.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I had an albino squirrel in my backyard and was researching some question on google when I came across the sites. My squirrel is officially registered.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. We have a vegetable garden outside our front door. We have 3 twenty foot long hog panels for peas, 5 pole bean towers, 4 rows of spinach, 1 row of purple kohlrabi, 16 pepper plants (sweet and hot), 8 celeriac plants, a patch of basil, and potatoes along the south edge. Husband has sowed zinnia seed in some of the bare spots.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The pole bean towers look like large antennas for contacting outer space aliens. When the beans grow to the tops, they resemble Cousin It from the Addams Family.

      Liked by 3 people

        1. Give me a couple of weeks. Then I should have lots of flowers in bloom and more ripe raspberries.


      1. I have two different plots of Kohlrabi. Both are based in strawbales, but one patch I added top soil to start other stuff from seeds. That Kohlrabi is doing very well and looks great.
        The other batch I ran out of topsoil so planted right in the straw bales. I hadn’t prepped these as well as the others and then I had issues with the hoses. So that batch is a little limpid yet. Except a couple that got in the dirt. It’s an interesting experiment.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. If you are asking me, tim, we rotate crops around the yard to reduce disease. This year the tomatoes are in the plot on the north side of the front yard. They will go back to the larger south plot next year. The potatoes are all over the north and south plots. Given the length of the hog panels, the peas are always in the south plot, but they move around from year to year. The pole beans go from north plot to south plot as needed.


  3. We have a viburnum bush that, although pruned last fall, is way out of control. White blooms against a pale gray house don’t thrill me anyway, and I want it removed, replaced with something colorful. Anything. I’d also kind of like to see the boulevard flower gardens, rangy though they are.


      1. If you are referring to barberries, it’s true that they have rich dark foliage and also bright red berries, but the have vicious little thorns that break off easily and tend to fester under your skin. I think they have been commonly planted under windows as a defense against intruders. Something equally richly foliaged but more benign, like a ninebark would be (and has been) my choice.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Very pretty. Check the size. For some reason this summer ours became enormous. Lou just trimmed it back about two feet and it is still Big.


  4. Also frequently outside the front door are two lounging dogs and a cat (usually not lounging) from next door. This is mostly when owners are outdoors, but both dogs can be counted on to stay in the yard. I like them, but can never remember their names except for Sesame the Cat.


  5. Nothing particularly interesting outside my front door — just an immaculate, typical suburban shrubbery, lawn and small patio/sidewalk thanks to the townhome property manager. Across the road is the Northstar Train station where I walk everyday to go to and from work. Ho hum …. however, there is a small pond or swamp in the neighbor’s yard just outside our bedroom window which boasts a loud frog/toad chorus of horny amphibians many spring evenings.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Right outside our front door is pots of flowers that Kelly does every spring.
    Chickens and ducks as they wander through. And dogs.
    Dirt, grass they all drag in. Extra fur from when I brush the dogs (and Kelly hates it when I brush them right at the front door… I don’t understand why she gets so mad. (-: )
    And our cars. And the two cherry tomato plants.

    Outside the back door is the deck. And retaining wall to the rest of the yard. And more chickens and a duck nesting in a little batch of saplings I didn’t get uprooted last year.

    And the side door, out of the garage, that goes right down to the driveway; just grass (and chickens and ducks goes without saying).

    Liked by 6 people

    1. And PS: Jacque– this is a great story. Thanks.
      Why in the world does a frog want to get in the spout of the watering can?? Repeatedly?? Or do we think it’s a different one every time? So many questions!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. It is a mystery, but every summer since we built the patio in 2010 there has been a frog in there. I must have offended the one in the picture–haven’t seen it since Sunday. Maybe this is a publicity-shy frog that does not want to sign autographs.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Chipmunks. For some reason, we have a bumper crop of chipmunks this year. A pair of them sat companionably on our back steps contemplating the back yard for perhaps 15 minutes the other day. And I had one in the house.
    I was home alone and I thought I heard a rustling sound in another room that I couldn’t identify. I got up and went into that room and nothing seemed amiss. About an hour later, I caught out of the corner of my eye something scurrying across the floor. When I saw him again, it was in the living room. I knew I would never actually catch him, so I opened the front door and finally managed to coax him toward it until finally he decided to leave. what bothers me is that I have no idea how he got in in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Out the front door, besides the street, I have mostly flowers and some lawn. For spring blooms, I have some spring bulbs (crocus, grape hyacinth, some blue starry thing, and tulips that never bloom) and lilac, Mn Redbud and a crabapple tree plus a bleeding heart. Other plants,in the two boulevard beds and along the side fences and the front of the house: hostas, ferns foxgloves, hydrangea, lavender, quite a few lilies of various kinds, tall and short bellflowers, tamarix bush/tree, russian sage,snanpdragons, nasturiums, coneflowers, and a couple nice daylilies. Along one fence is a lot of creeping charlie (who cares? not me, I’m no godzilla).

    I put down some woodchips on some of these beds this year (thanks to the neighbors next door who chopped down some trees and ran them through a chipper) and boy is it nice to not have so many dang weeds.

    And because I live in the city, there always seems to be lots of trash in the front yard. Yay.

    Good thing you didn’t ask about the back yard.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. call my front door are David and Mary my new across the street neighbors
    when I met them Mary was playing with their Irish setter in the front yard chasing tennis balls I introduced myself and told her that we would be moving in the following week and when we moved in her husband David an older round man was out in the front playing with the dogs on a particularly hot day and I went over to meet him in to chat
    The new house were in is how mile away from a busy street in One Direction and a mile away from a busy street in another direction and we are kind of on a closed and cul-de-sac that you have to be going to on purpose so it’s very quiet
    after enjoying the dog walks at our last house near the nature preserve and the lake we spoil the dogs into expecting a dog walk twice a day and in this location you can walk 1 mile and turn around and come back to the east or 1 mile and turn around and come back to the south there are no circular paths
    David likes to barbecue and uses the third stall in his garage exclusively for rolling the barbecue out into the driveway and rolling it back when he’s finished
    he may not do this every day but he does it the majority of days and he also does a great job of sweeping the leaves off of his asphalt driveway

    I met his next-door neighbors which are also across the street but they’re not outside the front door the only way I know that they are there is that they have piano practice that happens about 9 o’clock every night and I can’t tell if it’s the mom playing like a grandma or the girls playing like a grandma we discovered that they have three girls age 810 and 12 and are interested in having my 16-year-old babysit for them which makes the summer look great I am always amazed of guys like DAVID HU barbecue on the driveway in the front yard rather than going around back where he has a beautiful yard overlooking wetlands and a golf course but I guess to each his own his preference is to be able to roll it out on the asphalt easily and that’s more important than having a view
    my new backyard is wonderful and private and not big but perfect so out my front door is suburbia and out my back door is kind of a tranquil peace garden

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Outside the front door? Two pots of flowers at the bottom of the steps. Four hanging baskets with flowers. Lots of lilies, irises, sedum, hostas, poenies. One large Linden tree that seems to taking over the property.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Outside my front door you’ll often find Agamemnon, the long-haired black cat from down the street. He knows he’s welcome, and he often gets any food that my cats haven’t eaten. He is almost all black, but has a little white fur on one shoulder.

    Agamemnon is pretty friendly, but sometimes hisses for no reason. Or at least no reason that I can discern.

    Also outside the front door occasionally is a possum, who consumes any food that Agamemnon has passed on. The possum doesn’t have a name so far, but is probably a female. If you think albino squirrels are creepy, ljb, wait till you have a possum in the neighborhood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve seen two possums this year, but not in my neighborhood. The first one was at Fort Snelling State Park in February. It wasn’t very lively, but eventually it walked away. The other one was along some creek east of St. Paul – on the path, very tiny and very dead.

      We have at least one racoon in this neighborhood, I think. The only time I’ve seen it was when I was walking back from a neighbor’s house at night and I noticed a very large, fat animal scuttling off her next door neighbor’s front porch and going off around the side of the house. Way too big to be a cat, pretty sure it was a racoon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was wondering that, too. I don’t know what it is about albino squirrels that creep me out; I dislike regular squirrels but am not creeped out by them. There’s just something about the albino squirrels with their red eyes that I can’t stand.

        The only city squirrel that I might consider cute would be the rare black squirrel. But they are still squirrels – so, no, not cute.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. i remember traveling to places like kansas and maybe michigan back in the 70’s and wondering what those odd creatures were. global transitioning has been going on a while because the possum and the garden slugs are moving into minnesota when they didnt exist 50 years ago. possums always look like they just came out of the womb


  12. I frequently have a vase of flowers on a little table next to the door. I’ve pretty much given up on having flowers in the house, since the cats won’t leave them alone. So I put them next to the door and see them when I’m leaving and coming home.

    Liked by 3 people

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