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One Lucky Toad

Posted Apr 04 2010 12:00am
Here in Columbia, free mulch, produced from collected plant debris, is offered to the public; on Saturdays, from April through September, it is loaded into lines of waiting pickup trucks. I obtained my first load of the season yesterday afternoon and spent two hours spreading it about our shrub lines and flower beds.

Nearing the end of my labors, I used a shovel to remove the last remnants of the mulch and, in one of these pockets, I found an American toad, alive and well. On the rainy night preceding my project, he was likely carousing with comrades at a temporary pool and had snuggled into the mulch as dawn approached. Before I found him, he had survived the invasion of a front loader, a free-fall into the pickup and two hours of my unloading efforts (which included endless pitchfork jabs, shoveling and tramping about the truck bed in heavy work boots).

Needless to say, the toad was lucky to survive and he was released beneath a group of shrubs in our backyard. Of course, we are also lucky; with our free mulch, we received a calm and quiet neighbor who specializes in natural insect control.
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