Fall Gardening Chores Continued and Portrait of a Toad

So I have been working on my fall gardening chore list.  Today I completed the following:

  • Prune those pesky suckers under the live oak tree.
  • Build up azalea bed

In addition I raked and picked up leaves in the shade garden and pruned a very out of control Pyracantha.  I felt a little bad since the Pyracantha is in the shade garden, only the tops of the vines get enough sun to produce berries which are a favorite of the birds.  But what’s done is done and my neighbors will more than compensate this winter with birdseed and bread crumbs.  I also dug up six Sum and Substance Hostas that I planted under a Live Oak Tree and then neglected.  It is a wonder they are still alive with very little supplemental water and no slug repellent.  I transplanted them in the Japanese Maple bed with the other Hostas and have given up any real variety in that bed.  And why not? I love Hostas and they, the wild strawberries, and one lone wild ginger grow in that bed.  Good enough.  Although the leaves are bare and torn, the roots on all six are strong so they will be beautiful next spring.  Sum and Substance Hostas are among the largest of hostas with blue-green leaves the size of dinner plates.  They don’t grow that large here in the Texas heat but they are still formidable in size and both their foliage and flowers are a favorite of mine.  Besides, for some reason, slugs prefer green-leaved hostas so these will do just fine.

I had a real dilemma today though, my tiny pond which is now the home to hundreds of little tadpoles was drying up.  It barely had a foot of water in it.  My internet research states that chlorine is deadly to tadpoles and to leave tap water standing for at least a week before adding it to the tadpole habitat.  Unfortunately, it’s only been four days since I filled a five gallon container with tap water and it is almost half evaporated so I was fighting a losing battle.  So I took a chance with water conditioner for fish bowls and aquariums which de-chlorinates tap water and also adds a nice slime coat to fish.  Not sure about the slime coat but I hope the water was sufficiently prepped so as not to kill the little tads.  As I poured a total of ten gallons of water into the pond, out jumped what I can only guess is the momma frog-or toad.  She held still for quite some time and her color matched the rocks so well that all four of my dumb dogs came within a foot of her and never even knew.  I took lots of close-ups of her.  I only know how to add one gallery of pics so the hosta transplants, reclaimed areas of my garden, and momma toad pics are all in the slideshow below:

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BTW I checked back later and the little ones are still wiggling around disturbingly not unlike sperm.  So I think I did not mass murder them.  Time will tell.

Happy toad farming and remember to “bee” hoppy!


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