Horny Toads

I'm not an expert on the life cycle of the toad but, based on what I'm experiencing on my slice of Inver Grove Heights, the toads were in a loving mood at some point after the spring thaw. 

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Since June every couple steps in my yard results in the scattering of infant and juvenile toads. Mowing the lawn has taken an extra 15-20 minutes as I pause to gently nudge toads on their journey away from the mower deck. 

It's great. 

No, really. It's great.

Besides the obvious benefit of delighting the four-year-old, it's a clear sign that my organic approach to lawn care is paying off in spades. I've never had such an influx of toads. Come to think of it, the only places I've noticed toads in the past were my garden boxes, where the toads would hang out and do toad stuff from time to time. Not coincidentally, my garden boxes were previously the only chemical free space on my property. 

Upon further research, it turns out that frogs and toads have very absorbent skin. Unfortunately, that means they can quickly absorb toxins from the environment, making them extremely sensitive to herbicides, pesticides and other sources of pollution. The fact that the neighborhood toads have chosen my organic lawn as their breeding ground is flattering. In fact, I hope they will choose to spend the rest of their lives here. 

Why? In a three month season, a single toad will consume nearly 10,000 insects. Between my toads and the bat(s) that chill out in my bat house, a fair bite is taken out of the mosquito population without me lifting a finger. Speaking of winged insects. I've also noticed an increase in the number of butterflies that choose to stop by for visits; another beautiful sign that I'm on the right track.