Presenting: a fresh American toadlet.
Yesterday it still had a tail.
A few days ago it breathed through gills and was a vegetarian.
Today it has lungs and a carnivorous gut.
What a cutie.
I hope it stays in our little yard, because most of our neighbors have “mosquito control” contracts. And as every toad knows, those sprays, no matter how “eco” the claim, kill more than mosquitos. They kill all insects and invertebrates, which, as every toad knows, are what every toad eats. Insects are what many of our year-round and summer birds eat, and what skinks and small mammals eat, including the big brown and little brown bats that come at dusk (and in ever-dwindling numbers).
How do I suggest to neighbors that, instead of poisoning the rest of us, there are other ways to reduce mosquito populations and to reduce the chances of getting bitten?
We can keep flower saucers and wheelbarrows free of standing water. We can screen the rain barrel. We can drop a mosquito dunk in the water feature.
For the few moments we are actually outside with our fellow creatures in this, our shared habitat, we can burn citronella sticks, put a fan on the patio.
And we can wear bug spray on our bodies, rather than on our entire property.
Until this happens, I need to teach our toadlets to read a plat map: