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merryheart_gw

Anyone have frogs or ever see horned toads in your yards?

merryheart
16 years ago

Good morning all!

I am up too early and was reading through some threads on here. As I read about all the catapillars and hornworms, moths and butterflies, I got to thinking about my dad and how he loved to have frogs and toads in the yard. And how he hated it if his mower hit one. He passed that on to me. So anytime I knew we did have a toad in our yard I would caution DH and DS to be very careful with the mowers. Dad used to remark frequently how all the frogs and horned toads have disappeared from everyday lawns due to lawn mowers and pesticides.

As I reflect on this I realize it has been a couple of years now since I have seen a frog in my yard. A few years ago I had one which lived in one of my flower beds and it would suddenly come up out of the dirt as I worked in the bed and scare the bejebbers out of me.....lol. And another year one lived out near my craft cottage and when I would be watering it would sing to me....haha.

We have seen an increase in some kind of small snake however...ugh. We have not been able to make an identification of the type of snake so it makes me pretty leary. It doesn't appear to be a garter snake though. DH found one a week or so ago.

Out of curiosity....what are your thoughts on grubs? ugh!

I got to feeling curious so thought I would post on this topic. It will be interesting to get your imput on this.

G.M.

Comments (76)

  • rjj1
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hi Julie

    Up until a few days ago, it's been too cold or lacking sunshine for honey bees to be out in the past month. :-)

    The hives on our property were really starting to get active yesterday. Honey bees only work certain blooms at specific times of the day, so it may be easy to think they aren't around if you can't be outside when they make their daily appointment at your house.

    randy

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Julie, Julie, Julie: OK, girl, lurk if you must....but we'd be delighted to see you post every day like so many of us do! Believe me, now that we know you are out there, we're expecting to hear from you, OK?

    I'm thrilled that you have bees. People all over the country are concerned about the bee population, and many are seeing few if any this year. Just a reminder to everyone while we are on the topic of bees, the violent and deadly Africanized bees have been found in Oklahoma, so keep that in mind when you are outside.

    G.M., Sounds like your yard is full of nature's wild things too! Isn't it lovely. I am glad you have a lot of birds as they are so helpful in keeping insects under control.

    We have lots of ants, too, everything from those tiny black ants so common in gardens to fireants to the red Harvester Ants. As much as I dislike the fire ants, I wouldn't have a garden at all if it weren't for the ants as they eat eggs laid by many insects and also devour many insects.

    Steffie,

    I know you will see fewer insects and other wild things at first, as many were undoubtedly killed when your neighbor's yard was sprayed. Ultimately, though, I think you will see more. Your landscape will, indeed, serve as a sanctuary for the insects.

    I know it is discouraging to have a non-organic neighbor...I had one on either side of me in Fort Worth. The fact remains though, that YOUR place is chemically-free and welcoming and your good efforts are even MORE important to the wildlife/critters because they are not welcome next door.

    Sadly, your neighbors can poison the air, ground, water, etc. around you with pesticides and you can't do anything about it. All you can do is keep on doing what you are already doing, and I believe the birds, butterflies, toads, frogs, dragonflies and others will absolutely find your home and adopt it as theirs.

    Many people who rely on chemicals just don't realize all the consequences of their actions. Five or six years ago we had a terribly bad grasshopper season. The hoppers were devouring crops and ornamental plants, eating fruit right on the trees, eating tree bark....even nibbling on cotton clothes on clotheslines and chewing holes in window screens.

    People were desperately trying anything/everything to control the hoppers. An unfortunate side effect of all this was that our once-thriving local population of bluebirds virtuallly disappeared. I don't know if they left us to live in a less toxic area, or if they died from ingesting pesticides, but they were gone.

    Once it was apparent the bluebirds were gone, a lot of people started whining and complaining that the bluebirds were gone (duh!). Many of these people were the agriculture types who had sprayed acres (hundreds and hundres of acres) with heavy applications of pesticides. I was pretty blunt when it came up in conversation and asked them what they expected when they sprayed pesticides? Did they not know that the birds would also suffer? It was about three years before we really began seeing the bluebirds again, and about 5 years for their population to return to its' previous level.

    Some of our local farmer/ranchers always complain to me about the lack of pollinators around their places and ask how I always have such a good crop in my veg. garden. Once I explain it is all about being organic and welcoming all kinds of insects (good and bad) in my landscape, most all of them lose interest. They are set in their ways and most of them won't change. So, nowadays, I just tell them politely that they won't have pollinators because they kill them off with all the pesticides they use. To be fair, some of them try very hard to encourage the pollinators, and to time pesticide applications so that they do not occur while the bees are out.

    So, Steffie, don't let it get you down. And, if your neighbors happen to mention to you that they are not seeing many butterflies, birds, lizards, etc., you can tell them why (nicely, of course!) And if they complain about one specific type of insect that is plaguing them, you can explain to them that they probably killed off the beneficial insects that help keep native bug populations under control, thereby creating their own problem. You may or may not be able to change their mind somewhere down the road, but at least you will have given them some food for thought.

    Dawn

    Here is a link that might be useful: Africanized Bees in Oklahoma

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  • steffieok
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Dawn, thanks for the encouragement. I was very depressed yesterday, not just the pesticide issue but right now everything that is going on in the world (I think I am sleep deprived) and today being April 19th and having known people in the Building I just had a bad mood day. I dont have bad hair days I have maniac depressive days.

    Anyway, I noticed this evening, the wildlife on the North side of the house is going great guns so it will recover and believe me, my neighbor just does not listen. I tried to encourage organic control etc before she called to have it sprayed. The only way I knew at first it had been was because I came out the back door and there was that smell. Later I quizzed and found out for sure.

    My cannas are on the south side up against the fence and I am kind of worried about the humm moths. They loved those cannas and I am hoping the upcoming rains will also wash away some if it so I will have the moths this year, I hope.

    But would you know, the web worms are stonger than ever. If we could share the tree but I am afraid they will get all the foliage and then I will be looking at sticks. I just thought it was a little early and a little wet so far which means I will be on webworm patrol all season. Oh well beats sitting on the couch watching the boobtube.

    Things are better today though, I found toad droppings. Yes, I know I am a sick puppy sometimes but he likes to hang out on my backporch and I know when he has been around but his bathroom habits.

    One more work day and I get to garden all day long!

    Steffie

  • wolflover
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I'm a firm believer in that if you want to welcome frogs and wildlife to your yard, provide them with a water feature. It doesn't have to be elaborate, but if you provide them with a water feature, they will come. We built our first pond nine years ago. It was just a small, preformed pond from Home Depot, but it got us started. The following year we built a larger liner pond (5000 gallons that I dug with a shovel), and we joined the two ponds together with a creek. You can't believe the wildlife those ponds attracted to our yard. We've had dove, quail, roadrunners, orioles, bluebirds, hummingbirds, and even an indigo bunting come to our creek to drink and bathe, not to mention all the regular birds. :) One drought year, I watched while a hummingbird lay in the wet leaves beside the creek, resting and cooling off. We have numerous lizards of many varieties, and several types of frogs. Their singing during mating season sometimes got so loud that we would have to close our doors and windows to be able to stand it. I always thought that was an overstatement until I experienced it, but frogs get very NOISY when they're courting. My ponds are usually covered with bees drinking from the water lettuce all summer, there are dragonflies galore, and tons of other winged creatures. You can't imagine how much wildlife a pond or water feature will bring to your yard. Of course, the frogs sometimes attract snakes, but we have never had a poisonous snake in our yard. But we have an unbelievable amount of wildlife attracted by the ponds. And the aquatic plants in the ponds are an added pleasure, plus you never have to water them!

    We recently started moving, and our new home doesn't have a pond (yet). But you better believe that I'll be bringing my ten truck loads of landscaping rocks with me, and I'll be building two new ponds here once I get everything from the old place moved here. Only this time, I won't be digging the ponds by hand. I'm too old for that much digging this time around. :)

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Dawna,

    I agree about adding a water feature for wildlife. We had two ponds, several running springs, two creeks and a swamp on our property when we bought it. Of course, that was not enough for me, so I added two ponds after we moved here. lol

    Sometimes we have more wildlife than we want in and around the ponds.....cottonmouths, racoons and great blue herons hunting for a meal, but it is worth putting up with them to have all the other wildlife.

    I also run a dripper and a misting system in the summertime for the hummers and make at least one mud puddle every day for the butterflies. If I add a little water to the puddle right before twilight, the bunnies will often come there to drink.

    I know you are going to have a great time creating another pond/water garden. And, the only one I ever dug by hand was the first one. It was at our house in Fort Worth and was only about 8' x 5'. We unearthed enough native flagstone to do the rockwork around that pond. That was about in 1985 or 1986. Since then I have had at least one pond everywhere I have lived, and couldn't live without one now.

    Happy Ponding!

    Dawn

  • merryheart
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Oh my....you guys are so BLESSED to be able to have the ponds! (And swamps, creeks and other water areas).

    Dawn, have you considered adding a small cabin on your property to rent out to city dwellers like myself? lol. I think I will come bring a lawn chair some day just to sit and soak up some of the peace and rest of nature ! Do you shoot trespassers? haha

    I have always wanted to live in rural area with a creek or pond or both. I almost got it back in 1998. Found 9 acres with a huge pond in it...it had woods and a small pasture area also. The house was not great but oh the location seemed great. Long story short...we didn't follow through with the real estate contract to buy it. It was just not the right thing for us all as a family unit. And I have now finally given up the idea of living rural. With my health problems and DH's city dwelling history we just couldn't handle it now.

    I have always wished we could put in a pond here. There is a perfect place location wise near the patio but there is a gas pipe right there too...so it wouldn't work out...lol.

    I can see one thing I will have to be careful or you guys will be giving me too many ideas for things to do around here! it doesn't take much for me to get to wanting to do all kinds of things...and my poor DH is probably about worn out with almost 26 years of my constant ideas...lol. He may ban me from getting on the forum if I am not careful. No...he is a wonderful guy and if I keep talking about wanting something long enough he will usually try to get it for me if possible. If I were physically like I used to be I would probably start digging at least a small pond TODAY. haha.

    I should research some EASY ways to have some kind of pond or other water feature. I would love a pond with a waterfall in it!

    I saw more Monarchs yesterday. And some larger yellow butterflies. I will have to look up butterflies to learn to identify them. And do you all have tons of the insects which resemble giant mosquitoes? We are over run with them around here lately. I have been meaning to try to identify them....I was thinking they might be mayflies but I really don't know.

    And I have been hearing our neighborhood owl for the last few days. Makes me feel like we live in the country.

    Oh and ants....they were eating my roses on my Penny Lane rose bush. I found a bunch of buds which were half eaten and filled with ants. grrrrr. What should I do about that? Any ideas? I intend to try not to use chemicals if I can help it at all.

    Now that I am down in back I need to not invent too much more work for us to do...lol. Hopefully it won't last too long this time.

    Ya'll enjoy your wonderful sounding nature habitats. And think of me today when you see something special...okay?
    G.M.

  • rjj1
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Spotted this swarm of honey bees last night on my shadecloth covering the greehouse.

    {{gwi:1091880}}

    randy

  • susanlynne48
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Yippee, Randy! So glad to see those little bees!

    Julie, welcome to the forum, and now you can no longer lurk - you're officially a member of the family.

    Randy, I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to have a bathouse. But, my house has very low roof on it, so I'm not sure if I can situate one that will serve the bats well. I need to do some reading because I'd really love to have them.

    Susan

  • wolflover
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Organic Julie,
    Welcome to the OK forum. We hope you'll join in on the conversations and tell us your gardening experiences. I call them horny toads too. :) My DH caught one in my grandma's yard last summer, and brought it inside for everyone to see before turning it back loose. We grandkids had such a history of catching horny toads in Grandma's yard, so it was exciting that the last one we saw was there. BTW, I love your name!

    Wow Randy,
    What a great picture!! I'm so happy to see you have a thriving honey bee population! I betcha can't wait to taste their honey. Your pictures always bring a smile to my face.

    Merryheart,
    The easiest way to get a pond built is to have a party and invite your friends and family to bring their shovels. You provide the food, drinks and music, and your friends and family can provide the man power. Make a fun day of it and you can get the pond dug in one day, and finish landscaping it in one or two weekends. It's easy to do if you have help, and ponds aren't nearly as expensive as you'd think. Heck, I'll give you all the pond plants you could ever want. Don't you live in Ardmore? I'll even deliver them!

    One year on my birthday, everyone kept asking what I wanted to do for my birthday. I told them I wanted to have a "rock party". So I invited several friends and my brother, and we hit the mountains and hauled home five truck loads of landscape rocks (with permission). It so happened that my birthday fell on Super Bowl Sunday that year, so we smoked a brisket all day, and had barbeque and all the fixins' when we got home, and watched the Super Bowl that evening. I had already hauled in five truck loads of rocks prior to that day, so those last five loads were enough to finish off my landscaping. The birthday "rock party" was a fun way to get five truck loads of rocks hauled home, and all my friends had a great time.

    I've allowed dozens of people to haul rocks off my land for landscaping their ponds and yards, making pathways, etc. But I didn't want the native Arbuckle mountain type rocks from my pastures. I wanted those greyish - pink rocks from the Table Top Mountains, LOL. My DH thought I was crazy for driving that far for rocks, when my pastures were full of them. But I love those grey pink rocks and they look so good around my ponds and flowerbeds.

    Dawn,
    I would think twice about building a pond if I had poisonous snakes. Thank goodness that is something I've yet to have to deal with. I can't wait to build a couple of new ponds here, but I may have to settle for water features and lotus tubs this year, and hold off building the ponds until next summer. We still have so much stuff to move from our old house, including a barn, my greenhouse and tons of perennials. I know I can't move all my flowers from the old house, but I'm bringing starts of everything. :) The slowest process is trying to dig new beds for them here. I am certainly enjoying all the rain we're getting this year, but it is slowing down my efforts to dig new flower beds!

  • organicjulie
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Thanks everyone for welcoming me. Okay, I am not going to just lurk and I will try to post as often as I can. The problem is between a full time job, an active 12 year old, being a single mom and of course gardening. I mostly read these threads at work during lunch and I can't post there! *sigh*

    Anyway..... Wow!! Randy, that's a great picture!!! Beautiful!

    Speaking of bees. When I got home today (took off work early to garden), I had more bees but they were the tiny bees. Those things sure get on my nerves when I am trying to work outside. Every time I would get near the bush that they were working on, they would fly around me buzzing and buzzing. Ugh! I had to keep a wide berth which was a problem because I wanted to work on my asparagus bed. Sheesh. I finally got some work done this evening when they went home.

  • organicjulie
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Wolflover,

    Thanks about the name. I became interested in organic gardening years ago but for reasons that are long and complicated, I never really got a chance to do much of it. Anyway, I am now able and life is good. :-)

  • merryheart
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Randy--are those your bees? What I mean is...are you a bee keeper? If not I wonder where they came from and why they are all gathered there like that?

    Now I am not so sure I would be happy to see a swarm of bees like that in my yard...I know they are good guys...but they are also bad guys. haha.

    One year in the fall there were swarms of wild bees everywhere at the lake and they were very aggressive ones. We celebrated my sister's birthday while we were there and we had bees in the food and all over us. These bees didn't leave you alone if you ignored them either...they stung. We ended up having several members of our party with bee stings.

    It is a GREAT picture! Prize winner for sure that one is.
    Just be careful out there okay?

    Organic Julie--Hello and welcome to the forum. It is a great place. I am new also...but it is rapidly becoming addictive. I have known about it and read info on here for several years but never really posted much until a few weeks ago. You sound like a very busy lady but I'm glad you find time for gardening and being part of this group. They all seem like such wonderful people. I am glad they are all here.

    Wolflover--I want to thank your great ideas on getting work done for a pond...that is a good idea. The only problem for me is that almost everyone I know well enough to get them together to work are in about as bad a shape physically as I am....hahaha.
    But hey it used to work for me though. I got an 18' X 29' X 6' deep swimming pool put in about 12 years ago by doing just what you are saying over and over until the work all got done....haha. Took a lot of bar-b-ques and ice cream socials but it worked. That and promises to all them to feel free to come and use my pool. haha.

    Your property must be just fantastic looking with all those pretty rocks. Are you the gal who is moving and planning to move your rock? I would too after all that work to get them.

    I am sitting here just about dawn typing and reading and I can hear our neighborhood hoot owl...or I could until the next door neighbors dog just started his morning barking....ugh.

    I need to go trace down another thread to post on. I hope you all don't get too tired of me now that I can't garden (or much of anything else actually) due to the back injury...sigh. I saw my doc yesterday and he wanted me on bed rest...but I can't stay in bed all time...it is too boring.

    Ya'll have a great day.
    G.M.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Happy Saturday Everyone!

    Dawna, I know, I know, I know. Adding the lily pond behind the house HAS attracted poisonous snakes to the back yard. My DH and DS are pretty good at getting rid of them. We had to build this pond as an earth-bottomed pond, because I knew the slithering, swimming critters would show up & we'd have to shoot them to get them out of that pond, so there was no point in even trying to use a liner. We ignore the water snakes everywhere else on the property, but not in this one lily pond.

    I am envious of your rocks. We don't have any rocks to speak of on our place, except in parts of the creekbed.

    Randy, What a bunch of bees! Do you keep your own hives or do you just have a vigorous wild bee population?

    G.M., One of my earliest ponds was in a 6' diameter galvanized metal stock tank. It had a few plants in it and some goldfish. I planted cannas all around it to shade it a little during the warm months so the water wouldn't heat up too much. Frogs, dragonflies and other critters just flocked to it, and no digging was involved.

    Julie, Those tiny bees are annoying, I know, but they are great pollinators. They land on me all the time, but I've never had one sting me....so far!

    Dawn

  • rjj1
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Ladies

    I let a beekeeper keep hives on the property and get a percentage of the honey they produce each year.

    It's the most popular Christmas gift we give to family. One year I forgot to get the honey out of the back of the Yukon and my brother asked if we were no longer giving honey.

    randy

  • wolflover
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Randy,
    I'm sure your family does love your honey as gifts. I know I would. MY FIL used to keep bees on our land, but when he got too old to do it any longer, he gave the hives to a friend who enjoyed bee keeping. DH & I were too young and dumb back then to have any interest in the bees other than eating the honey.

    Dawn,
    I wish I had an earth bottom pond for growing lotus. I have a friend who grows them in her earth bottom pond and she makes a small killing each spring selling them on eBay and to pond stores. Plus her pond is incredibly gorgeous. I grow most of my lotus in tubs, with only one in the pond. I'm sure your lilies must be so beautiful.

    Merryheart,
    Sorry to hear about your back pain. I can recommend a great book for "healing" your back. I swear by this book. It's called "Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection" by Dr. John Sarno. I first heard of this doctor from John Stossel on TV's 20/20. They did a segment about him on 20/20 about ten years ago. Dr. Sarno has cured tens of thousands of people from their back pain just by teaching them to use their mind to cure their back pain. I could rave about him all day long, but I won't. What I tell people is, buy the book and if it doesn't cure your back pain, I will buy the book back from them. I have yet to have to buy the book from anyone, even though I need a second copy for myself since my book is always loaned out. My DH has had two back surgeries, but this book is what healed his back. Here is a link to reviews on Amazon.com. Check it out. You probably can get your library to order you a copy if they don't have it in stock. This book truly can heal your back pain, no matter what caused the pain. I know that sounds crazy but it's the truth. Your mind is a powerful thing!

    Here is a link that might be useful: reviews of this wonderful book

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Dawna,

    Does the soil on your new place drain too well to have an earth-bottomed pond??? Since I have all this old yucky Oklahoma red clay, I can't even imagine what that must be like! More lilies opened today. Five yellow flowers and four white ones. The red ones always bloom a little later.

    Randy, What a wonderful Christmas gift---fresh honey from your very own property.

    Merry Heart, Hope you're feeling better. It is so gorgeous here today, so I know it is at your house too.

    I had to take a break and come in and rest. Also, too many planes keep flying over my house towards McGehee's and it is making me nervous. I hope they don't try to land there because the runway is closed/plowed up and they will crash for sure. We don't need any of that. I want a nice quiet afternoon so I can finish planting the herbs and flowers today.

    Dawn

  • soonergrandmom
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Well, I have been lurking for awhile on this forum also, but I am reading posts from people who have lived in the same places that I have lived so I understand your gardens. I grew up in Carter County OK and tried to garden there in all of that red clay. It took a lot of work to improve that soil. I also lived in Norman.

    Six years ago we moved to the NE corner of Oklahoma a block or so from Grand Lake so my gardening is more like Ozark gardening. We also have lots of wildlife, great soil and much more rain. Today I saw six deer about a mile from my house. I don't think we have bunnies tho (and that't OK with me). My favorite bird here is the American Gold Finch (except for when the pellicans are here) and we have oodles of them. I always have a thistle feeder just for them although other finches and chickadees also stop by. My favorite animal is our colony of red fox that live in the woods across the street. They did live under a storage building at a vacant house, but when it was no longer vacant they moved into the woods. They are the reason we don't have bunnies.

    I have a frog that lives under my sensor light which stays lit all night. He has scared me many times when I have almost stepped on him.

    I finally "bit the bullet" today and put in 12 more tomato plants. I had three growing in wall-o-waters and they are blooming. Our weather got so cold that I also would go out at bed time and put a 2 liter bottle of hot water in each one. I also put hot water under the floating row cover that I had on some other things. My potatoes were almost all gone (except for the ones near the bottles) but they seem to be coming back. It has been a lot of work to protect those things that I planted too early but since I have squash plants and tomatoes in bloom now, maybe it will all be worth it. Cole veggies and peas appear to be thriving although not growing fast.

    I have been told that the bull frog (and quail) population in southern Oklahoma has been depleted by the egrets. Too bad when an imported bird destroys our native wildlife, isn't it.

    I went to an auction today and arrived just after they had sold a pallet of plastic flower pots. I found the guy that bought them and asked him if he wanted to sell some. We talked back and forth for awhile and finally he told me I could have them. He tried to give them to me, but I at least paid him what he had paid (which was almost nothing). So many I had to make two trips to get them home. Everything from 6 inch to 15 gallons. I have a "lifetime" supply of pots. I will never have to worry about potting-up again.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hi Soonergrandmom!

    It's good to see you posting on this forum. I hope we'll be hearing from you often.

    It is so nice to hear from someone who is a 'red clay survivor'! If you haven't been to Ardmore in a while, you would be amazed at how much it is growing. We've only lived in Love County since 1999 and both Carter and Love Counties have had an amazing amount of growth since we moved here. There are so many new employers in both counties that they can't find enough people, and that is quite a change from how it was just a few years ago.

    It sounds like you live in a beautiful part of our state. We have a few foxes around here, buy don't see them very often. We have had a huge rabbit population for about the last year, which means we'll have a booming coyote population this year and next. The egrets are taking a toll on our local wildlife. I do everything I can to encourage and protect the frogs. My dogs do a pretty good job of chasing off egrets and herons that try to fish in and around our ponds.

    The quail population has varied wildly the last few years. Most years, though, it seems smaller than in the past. Every now and then there is a boom year, but the boom doesn't seem to last.

    The skunk population has been smaller the last 2 or 3 years, and I am not complaining about that! The armadillo population also seems smaller, and I don't miss having them tear up the yard every night.

    It sounds like much of your garden is rebounding from the cold spell. I spent a lot of time these last 2 or 3 weeks protecting my tomato plants from the cold waves, and I believe it paid off. About 1/3 of my plants are blooming and a few have fruit. Two 'Better Bush' tomatoes that I have in 3 gallon pots have 3 tomatoes each, and I think we'll have ripe tomatoes by the end of this week. The 'Better Bush' tomatoes are nothing special, except that they produce really early if you start them early. I have them solely for the purpose of having a few early tomatoes. The cold didn't hurt the sweet corn, but I had to replant my green beans.

    My squash, pumpkins and melons are starting to grow now that the warm weather has returned. I hope to get okra, black-eyed peas and sweet potatoes in the ground by the end of April.

    It sounds like you got a great deal on the flowerpots. Don't you just love finding a wonderful bargain?

    Hope to see you around the forum often!

    Dawn

  • merryheart
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Welcome Soonergrandmom!
    You truly do live in a gorgeous area of the state. My DH and I were up in that area for a week or so last summer. We are RVers, he is retired and we were seeking a little relief from the intense heat. haha.

    We spent a week at Natural Falls state park in OK. It is a gorgeous but not widely known state park a few miles west of Siloam Springs, Arkansas. We found relief from the heat by sitting at the base of the falls...it was so much cooler down there. We drove over to Grove, OK while we were in the area. As well as checked out some other parks on the OK and AR sides.

    You are blessed with a much better gardening climate up there then we are, I am sure. Things always seem to look prettier when you get away from our near desert climate down here...haha. (Unless you go west from I-35 of course..haha). And I noticed some of the wild life is different up in that area. Of course I can only go by what we saw in the state park. The squirrels were quite different up there. I suppose they were grey squirrels. I don't recall for sure what they were but they were quite plentiful..haha.

    I know one thing from now on if I have planted early and we get a cold spell I will try the water bottles in the garden. With both you and Dawn having such good luck with it, I am convinced. My tomatoes and peppers which we dug up and potted for those two weekends are living but not growing much.
    Dawn what do I need to do to them? Add some kind of food or fertilizer or just go buy more of them and start over?

    Have a great day!
    G.M.

  • merryheart
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hi guys it's me again.
    Wolflover, regarding your mention of the book on pain and the mind/body connection, I recently read a very similar book, within the last month or so, for some reason the name as well as the arthor totally escapes me right now...brain fog....lol. But after reading the reviews of the book you mentioned it sounds similar to the one I read. I will see if our library has a copy. I do however believe that it must be mind. body AND SPIRIT. We can't leave off the spiritual side.
    Our minds, bodies and spirits are all connected. We are created "in the image of God." So our spirtual develeopment is also of utmost importance in achieving wholeness.

    I am a firm believer in keeping a positive attitude and laughing as much as possible. The reason for my user name being Merryheart. "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine,but a broken spirit drieth the bones" Proverbs 17:22
    The power of a joyful heart and spirit is amazing. An good hardy laughter or just true joy causes us to produce disease fighting chemicals.

    I love being outdoors and spending time with the natural things God created and spending some time HIM each day through His word. I couldn't make it without Him.

    I will try to get the book you have recommended.
    Thank you so much for your tip.
    G.M.

  • ilene_in_neok
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    G.M., so sorry to hear you're down with your back. I know how that is. In January during the bad ice/snow storm I had muscle spasms across the lumbar area that had me in bed for a week. Seems I have degenerative arthritis there. Don't know what triggers the spasms but I seem to have them once a year, this was the third time and each one is more severe than the first. Scares me about my future. X-rays show no need for surgery, they suggested an epidural which scared me to death. Some people say they work great, others say not. Pain was so intense this time I could not get out of bed the first day or two, had a nice ambulance ride because dh got scared. Tried physical therapy, they said my SI joint was torqued and did some muscle manipulation, which never stayed in place. Finally went to a chiropractor, his treatment hurt like the dickens, but he was the first to give me any lasting relief. Still have some pain, have to rest often, but it's hard for me not to overdo. I'm a do-er, and my work has me sitting at a computer for 8 hrs at a time every day. DH has degenerative arthritis in his knees so we have days when we don't get much done.

    Anyway, take your meds and rest up, you have things in so they will grow while you rest.

  • susanlynne48
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    At least you guys have meds you can take. My pain doc only wants me to take the long-term strong meds like fentanyl patches, and I just cannot tolerate them - too strong! So, I just muddle thru and try to transcend the pain. Working at computers and typewriters for year and years did not help at all. I wouldn't dare go to a chiro. Not with stenoses - they could really do more damage than good.

    Soonergrandmom - my son lives in Grove! We used to have a house on the lake there and I remember many good times. It's a beautiful area. Actually, I am from SE Kansas which is the pretty part of Kansas, and not too far from there (Independence).

    I got my liatris tubers planted today. Things always take more work than I "think" they will. Having to dig a good size hole, till the soil with my fingers, add chicken manure, plant the bulbs, and water them in. Been working on that project for a couple of days. Trying to pot of plants for the trade on Saturday. Sometimes it just gets too stressful. I have to plant my Ironweed and my Texas hibiscus yet, my chokeberry for the birds, and several small plants yet. Still have a few more seeds I want to sow direct. Yike! It'll be August before we know it.

    Susan

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hi Everyone!

    Merry Heart, The tomato plants are probably just mad at you because you dug them up and then replanted them. If you wait a week or two, they should get over it and begin growing again. When the roots have been disturbed a little bit, it takes a couple of weeks to see noticeable improvement. Probably the roots have already started to regrow which has to happen first, and then you will see new topgrowth.

    If you want to feed them something to encourage them to grow a little, you could try either an organic fertilizer like liquid seaweed or Alaska fish fertilizer (I saw it at the Wal-Mart in Ardmore last week) or even Miracle-Grow or Peters or something like that. If it were me, I would dilute the liquid fertilizer so it is at half-strength. Why? The tomato plants are stressed from being dug and replanted, and feeding them also stresses them, unfortunately. So, a weak feeding is better in this case than a stronger one.

    If you haven't seen an improvement in a couple of weeks, well, I would be greatly surprised. I don't think I would replant because I think they will rebound. The rain we're expecting this week, in combination with our lovely (at last!) warmer temps should help them get back on track.

    With the peppers, they are more sensitive to cold weather and will often sulk for months if they have been exposed to soil temps lower than about 50 to 55 degrees. So, think about how much cold they were exposed to before you dug them back up. They might be a candidate for replacement.

    Hi Ilene! Hope you are feeling well today.

    Susan, When you said "Things always take more work that I 'think' they will..." I was nodding my head in total agreement. EVERYTHING takes more work and takes longer than I think it will. I am glad it is not just me.

    I have oodles and oodles of seeds I still need to sow and tons of other stuff to get to and I can't seem to get caught up. Of course, if I ever finish everything on my 'to do' list, I will just decide to start some new project and a new 'to do' list. lol

    I don't get much done on weekends when DH and DS are home. We spend a lot of time running around, etc., etc. Lots and lots of rain in our forecast this week. I hope we get some, but not too much, 'cause I need to be out in the yard and garden all week.

    Dawn

  • ilene_in_neok
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Wolflover, you must've been composing your post about the same time I was, 'cause I missed it last time around. Oh, and Dawn, I see that this is the thread you were talking about on the Tomato Problem thread.

    I went to Amazon.com and ordered the book. Got a used one from someone in TX and it's only going to cost $7 something. I buy a lot of things from Amazon, and I like that they have vendors who sell used books. I have a ADD kid and so I always find out what the ISBN of his textbooks are so I can buy a used copy (usually) that he can keep at home. It has made the difference for him between pass/fail. Some of his teachers won't let him bring the book home. (small school paranoia, maybe.)

    Anyway, you know Amazon has a big distribution center not far from Independence, KS. We live only about 20 miles from the KS/OK line (and I was born in Iola, KS), and have driven by it many times when on genealogy jaunts.

    Yes, GM, I also believe in trying to have a "Merry Heart" but there are just some days....... Where I work, we employ and find jobs for people with developmental disabilities. When I decide to have a pity party all I have to do is go in to work and see them all coming in ready to do their jobs, makes me feel ashamed of myself for being so self-indulgent. Most of the time I don't understnad the why of it all, I guess I'm not supposed to. God in all His wisdom sees the big picture, I don't. But I have to admit, I'm not aging gracefully, I'm hating not everything working right anymore, looking in the mirror and seeing my dad's sister's face instead of how I used to look.... Then again, I do have a lot to be thankful for. Looking forward to when I can retire, but enjoying my job and feeling needed there.

    Oh, and back on the subject of frogs and toads, we have oodles of those little grey-green toads. They're out in the park during baseball season, as you're walking back to your house in the dark, they dart out of your path as you walk. More than once I've almost maimed one, tucked in the corner of the raised bed, or under some weeds. The cat and dog have no clue what they are, but they know they're not edible so they're pretty much disinterested.

    My neighbor has a fish pond, and that apparently attracts the tree-toads. They sing at night and it's so nice to go to sleep to their song.

  • soonergrandmom
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Ilene in NEOK - Sounds like we live in the same area and have the same hobbies. I love genealogy. I like to garden in the spring and early summer but when it gets hot I become a "gartherer" instead and all I do is water and harvest. I live just north of Grove. Write to me at caroldumasallen@icqmail.com and tell me what families you work on........Sorry gardeners.

  • grvtykllr
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I live in central utah, been hot here lately and damned nice to have the early spring.
    Im currently reworking my moms yard for her since she bought a new house last summer and trying to take back the garden from the weeds that took over before she bought it.
    In the "box" for turning the sprinklers on and off, i often see toads there when I make trips at dark to turn them on or off for her, I dug one up a few weeks ago setting te supports for her new deck, and dug up another in the back yard when I was digging down to till up a garden area for veggies. She has several toads and Im hoping more will become apparant after the small stream, waterfall and 600 gallon pond go in over the next few weeks. We went camping 2 weekends ago, an early trip with cold nights but nearly 90 degree days. Just me and the wife and the 3 year old. I caught several horned toads to show him. Let him pet them and look at them for a minute and then let them go.
    Its been a few years since I saw any of them around here, glad to see them recovering, or maybe its just that I went early and camped lower into the desert instead of the heavy pine thats still under snow up higher.
    saw a blow snake that would let me near it with out trying to bite ! it had to be nearly 5 feet long and nearly 2 inches around, biggest damned blow snake Iv ever seen. another snake scooted out ahead of us on a walk in the morning but I was unable to catch up to it after it hit the fallen trees off the path to see what it was.
    I have a cement patio and live ina condo, under my patio several hundred garder snakes winter each year. They started coming out a few days ago and spreading around the area here, sometimes in te fall when they are getting ready to nest up youll see 15 or 20 at a time on the patio soaking up the heat from the cement just as it gets dark.
    Garder snakes are great! they eat alot of the bugs I get and Iv seen one hangin around the small pond I have (60 gallons) most summers.
    In spring and fall my wife wont go out on that patio! iv caught her many times wearig boots and levis and catching the snakes in some long bq tongs we have and "transplanting" them to the nearby lake and golf course in boxes taped shut.
    She knows Ill be mad if she kills any of them, she doesnt dare to fill in the crack that lets them under the patio between two of the cement slabs, but she moves them anytime she sees them and loves it when the kids are here to catch them for her and take them away so she doesnt have to touch them or get near them.
    I have a hard time beliving a woman whos 5'10" is afraid of a little black and yellow snake thats less then a foot long and smaller around than my pinky finger.
    The nearby golf course has many ponds and they are full of bullfrogs (not native to utah but there they be!) and we listen to them at night bellowing out all spring. Taken a few walks in years past and caught tadpols and then let them go back in thier home pond at the end of the development. no tree frogs here, and no turtles. We do have lots of lizards and snakes and salamanders though.

  • callie_k
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I keep running into this thread during other searches. I just have to reply. I remember tons of them when I was little, then they were gone. 25 years later I live on 2 acres in between edmond and guthrie and I have a colony of horny toads!!! We saw one the day we came to look at the property. Within the first summer, i discovered I had territories in every corner of my yard. with 1-2 toads per spot!!! The first year I bet I had 10 - Each year we have more. I even see several babies each summer! The cutest things ever~
    I have quite a healthy ant population. As long as they don't come in the house(the ants) they can stay abundant.
    - I don't want to lose the toads....but i can't live with ants! so far, we all live happily coexhisting- everyone in their rightful spot!
    I am on my 4th year here,living and loving having these fascinating little creatures with me in the garden! My kids get to grow up with them now too.

    callie

  • kimberly110580
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I adore frogs. As some say, I am feeling as fine as frogs fur!! I primarily avoid pesticides on our lawn and garden as organically as possible. Last year our yard was croaking with toads.I have not seen any yet. However, due to the population we had last spring and summer I have decided to make some toad houses from pots and gourds. When I finsih them I will post some pics. We also have cardinals and house finches that we feed. I love nature and frogs and birds make a huge difference in spider control and all those other creepy bugs!

  • urthcreature
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I was just describing to my 5-year-old how we used to have horny toads when I was growing up in OKC, we used to carry them around on the kindergarten playground, I remember it so vividly. They are so cute, with their little faces and horns, and they were so tame, easy to pick up and hold. I could remember exactly how it used to feel to hold one. The ones we had there were just sandy colored, as I remember them. Anyway, I was telling him I don't think they have them very much anymore in OKC. Then we had to look them up online so he could see pictures (we live in Charleston SC). I went to wikipedia and then to a link of the Horned Lizard Conservation Society which was interesting. Anyway, they had a neat O.Henry short story on their website about a horny toad! I'll try and put the link here. http://www.hornedlizards.org/ Now after reading all of your all's posts I am really homesick for Oklahoma. Best wishes from Charleston and have a great day.

  • merryheart
    Original Author
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    You are blessed to get to live in South Carolina I think. I have lived in OK all my life but when my DH used to travel a lot for Michelin we spent a lot of time in South Carolina and I fell totally in love with it.

    Thanks for the link and the hello. And you are welcome to visit the forum anytime you get lonely for OK. Sometimes it will make you glad you don't live here when you hear of some of the weather we are having at the time. :)
    G.M.

  • kirts
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I haven't seen a Horned toad since the early 80s here.

    I use to love to watch them.

    It is sad to learn we have almost lost all of them, I hope they make a come back.

    we have tons of frogs around here, mostly because we are so boggy. but I dont' know what kinds they are, they stay well hidden and out in the field, or close to waters edge.

    I have seen the cute little tree frogs, with there suction cup feet, had a few up on the house and windows before, but have not seen them in a few years.

  • shankins123
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I, too, remember exactly how it feels to pick up a horny toad...that very cool, soft, pebbly skin. I LOVED those little things in my OKC backyard when I was little (about 40 years ago - wow that makes me sound so old). I've recently moved back here and was thrilled to find a small frog in my backyard when I moved some bricks; I hope there are more of them here and there. I remember one year, one very rainy year, when my brother and I convinced our mom to take us up and down neighborhood streets (in the car) collecting big toads...they were everywhere! You could see them silhouetted in the street lights. I was afraid they would be run over, so we grabbed them, stuffed them in a box in the back seat, and took them home to our yard and gardens...much fun!! I won't ever forget that :)

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Maybe you'll see a horned toad one of these days.

    We had them all over the neighborhood in Fort Worth when I was a kid in the 1960s/70s, but I hadn't seen one in many years until we bought our land here in the late 1990s. We saw horned toads several times even before we started building the house. I haven't seen one around the house in a while, but bet they are still around because we have lots of their preferred food source--the big red harvester ants.

    Dawn

  • trubbadubbadoo
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I don't have any horned-toads up where I am. I do remember them from my early years.

    As for frogs and toads? I actually pay the neighborhood kids to bring them to my garden. A dime for each one. Fifty cents for ring-neck snakes because they are supreme slug killers.

  • okprairie
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Sadly, I fished a dead frog from my pond this weekend. I had been hearing lots of happy noises, so I don't know what happened.

  • Macmex
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Wow! What a fast growing and long thread!

    We have frogs and toads! When we lived in NJ we were on the side of a VERY busy two lane highway. Except for a couple hours (like from 2:00 - 4:30 AM) we had traffic noise to the point that one could hardly carry on a conversation in the front yard. Then, we moved to Tahlequah (N. of Tahlequah, actually). One of the first times I stepped out the door at night I had to catch my breath at what I heard... NO CARS! The only man made sound to be heard was the sound of a ventilation fan, on a chicken house, about 1/4 mile away! And the frogs! We had tree frogs and toads that make quite a racket. We love that racket.

    We also have a pond on our place. It had no frogs in it, except leopard frogs. So, one day we had our son bring us a dozen bull frogs, from a drainage pond at his college. He stocked them last year. Before the end of the summer the pond was full of tad poles and we even had some new bull frogs sitting along the edge.

    We do have a couple of herons visiting the pond. Hopefully they won't deplete our frogs too badly.

    We had a good population of toads in NJ and have a good one here as well. I do believe that it's important to go as light as possible on pesticides. We use almost none. Amphibians are extremely sensitive to pesticides. I'm pretty sure that explained the absence of bull frogs in our pond. The previous owner probably sprayed something which wiped them out.

    George

  • okprairie
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Well, I'm happy to report there were frog noises coming from my pond again this morning. I wonder if the dead one was a victim of territorial mayhem. My pond is pretty small.

  • tisha_
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    The last two houses we lived in had frogs (or toads, I'm not sure which) that hung around. Not a lot of them, but a couple in each yard.

    When we bought our house last August, the pond came with it (small pond... less than 200 gallons) and so I just KNEW we'd be welcomed by some cute little toads or something.

    Well, so far I haven't seen even one. :-(

    And I'm really not good at hearing thigns and knowing what kind of critter is making the noise, so it's possible that we do have some kind of something out there that I've just never seen, but I just don't know.

    Someone up-thread mentioned that you can get tadpoles if you have a pond. Can you do that if you have a small pond too? Because I think that would be really neat.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Tisha,

    You can raise frogs in a small pond as long as there is some shade so the frogs don't roast in the hot summer sun. When my water lilies are leafed out and in bloom--roughly from mid-March to December here, about 70% of the water's surface is shaded. If your pond has plants growing in it, they ought to provide enough shade for frogs to survive.

    Dawn

  • tisha_
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Awesome, Dawn! Thank you for the info.

  • kirts
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    It is nice to have a DH that will help you with your outside projects..

    mine however, I am still after 5 years trying to take mine into buying me a lawn sweeper to pick up the grass clippings.

    I did tell my DH that I wanted him to build me a compost bin (open) but I don't think he ever will do that, since the paper work has been sitting on the printer now for two days.
    If I want it, I will have to build it.

    Ponds are wonderful, and I love them.. BUT I will not have one in my yard, I have had my fair share of haling rock, sand into this yard on my own over the years..
    I dont' plan on doing to again.

    we also also full of snakes here, so I have to be careful of what I plant, as I am reckless and will stuck my hand in places that I should really look first.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Kirts,

    I guess I am lucky. My DH will do anything I ask him to do out in the yard or garden, although he really isn't into gardening the way I am. He DOES mow a lot more than he used to, though. Why? Because we bought a riding mower several years ago, which (I guess) is so much more fun than using a normal mower.

    We have tons of snakes here too, mostly copperheads, timber rattlers (known around here as "Velvet tails" because of their velvety black rattles), Western Diamondbacks, and Water Moccasins. We also have a few non-venomous ones, including rat snakes, chicken snakes and those pale green ones that seem to like sitting in trees and shrubs.

    Over the years, we've lost several cats to snakebites and came close to losing our precious Rottweiler mix, Duke, who was bit in the face by a timber rattler.

    I've had some close calls, and I am SUCH a big scaredy cat. One of our next door neighbors was bit by a copperhead several years ago, and it was a long recovery period for her. She was the second person to be bitten on their place in the last 10 years or so.

    I don't like the snakes, but they are everywhere here, and there isn't much you can do about it.

    Dawn

  • devilwoman
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I've read these forums off and on for several years now. It's amazing how many searches for gardening info bring up Garden Web forums! I bought my first house last fall and decided this week it was time to register and join in here. So many wonderfully talented and knowledgeable gardeners here! And, then, I find a forum specifically for Okies!

    One of the things I liked best about the house when I first looked at it was the backyard. There are just all kinds of plants. I have to wait to see what many of them are, although my neighbor next door has clued me in on some.

    The neighbors have a landscape pond in their backyard. One of the things I expected to miss about my last apartment (lived there for over 10 years) was the landscaping, complete with ponds, a stream and lots of wildlife including frogs and toads. I was thrilled to find out that the neighbors pond has frogs in it as I love listening to them. They were worried that the new owner (me) might object to having to hear frogs croak. I think we both got lucky!

    The backyard slopes severely and has some sort of evergreen planted all around it. Over the years many of lower branches have been trimmed off due to disease, according to the neighbor. Now they are very tall with foliage only at the top. Quite a few of them suffered a good deal during last winter's ice storm. There's still at least one sizeable branch that is broken and needs to be cut off. A couple in the back aren't broken but are badly bent over. I'm sort of hoping that the bent ones somehow magically recover as the birds and squirrels seem quite fond of them.

    I have already counted at least 15 different species of birds in my new backyard, and that doesn't include mockingbirds which I have seen in the front yard. I also saw a tiny mouse near the back fence a couple of weeks ago when I watering a spot that has some irises and a crepe myrtle. Last Monday evening I saw a baby rabbit in the neighbor's yard by my garage.

    Some of the plants (many of these I can't verify yet, just going by what the neighbor tells me) include crepe myrtle (3 in the back), a Rose of Sharon, irises, hardy hibiscus (looks like 4 of those), daylilies and some other lily the neighbor wasn't sure of the type, clematis out front, what appears to be a lilac someone tried to chop down that is coming back but is probably too close to the house for good air flow, and some boxwoods up next to the front of the house.

    The boxwoods look nice but stink so I am going to try to relocate them farther from the house in the front yard and create a flower bed with them as a back drop. To replace the stinky bushes up close to the house I have already acquired two blue hollies, four mini roses, a peony, azalea, hydrangea, blue lilac, and a romantica rose.

    I'm probably going overboard, but my gardening for the past 20 years has been limited to pots and whisky barrels on an apartment patio, and I'm just so excited to have a house with lots of room for gardens now! My biggest problem is that a large part of the backyard is heavily shaded due to the evergreens, and, especially around the perimeter, there isn't even much in the way of grass. Lots of weeds in the areas where there is grass.

    I'm looking forward to finding out all the creative gardening things I can do with my new house!

    I've probably rambled on long enough now. Going to leave work early today to have lunch at the Arts Festival then home to plant and transplant!

    Debra

  • righandswife
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hi everyone! I'm new here and was amazed that there is a gardening forum just for Okies!

    We have lots and lots of frogs and horned toads in our yard, not to mention jack rabbits! I love to sit out in the back yard and watch them. I never realised how big they were.

  • tisha_
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Welcome!!!!

    I've been a member at Gardenweb for YEARS, but used to only come here for the houseplant forum. I didn't even know there was an Oklahoma forum until about a year or so ago.

  • renee3_kids
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Since I planted My 2 new trees and have been watering them, I have seen 3 or 4 baby toads soaking in the spray. They are so cute! My kids (7 and 9) want to catch em and play with em, but I make them put them right back where they find them. I see a few "horny toads" while we're fishing at Foss or Elk Lake, but very few and far between.

    We used to catch them and turn them upside down and "put them to sleep." Then we would let them go on their merry way. They we SO COOL, I wonder what has happened to their habitat to make them dwindle so much.

  • rjj1
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Been pretty busy and haven't had much free time lately to post here on the forum.

    Spotted this critter on the back porch before the last cold front blew in.



    And this one hitched a ride on one of my pots from the greenhouse about the same time. He was so hard to photograph because of time of day and only being about an inch long.





    randy

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Renee,

    I am afraid we humans are what has happened to the horned toads' habitats. When I was a little kid in the 60's and we saw them a lot and played with them, our neighborhood was still semi-wild, if you know what I mean. Even though everyone had lawns with trees, shrubs, flowers, etc., and many people had veggie gardens, I think people used fewer chemicals and didn't expect to have a "picture-perfect" landscape.

    There were still plenty of creeks and fencerows and other places that were semi-wild and lots of wild things still lived there, as well as in our yards.

    Somewhere along the way, though, many people began using tons of chemicals on their landscapes and killed off many of the insects that our horned toads, frogs, toads, lizards, etc. needed to survive.

    Also, consider the encroachment of the ever-explanding cities into formerly wild areas. Every time a housing development, retail development, roadway, etc. is built, some of the wild things' habitat is destroyed. Those of us who plant to encourage wildlife are increasing in number, though, so I hope there are enough of us gardening for the wildlife that we can mitigate some of the damage done to the habitat the wild critters need to survive.

    I don't know how heavily people in Oklahoma treat their soil for fire ants, and I am not sure how far the fire ants have made it into the Oklahoma (they certainly are here in Love County in great abundance), but I think they are part of the problem too. In Texas, many people over-treat for fire ants, and I can't help thinking that they are killing off all the ants, and not just the fire ants.

    I can't even remember the last time I saw a bed of red ants in Texas, or a horned toad either. Here near Marietta, though, we have both.

    If we want to enjoy the wildlife, we have a responsibility to use our land in such a way that we are sharing it with them, and not driving them off of it. (And I know that when I say that, I am "preaching to the choir" because everyone here seems to cherish all the little wild critters that inhabit our gardens with us.)

    Dawn

  • takadi
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I wish I could appreciate frogs, but I'm afraid I'm the only one here with intense frogphobia. Something about their lifeless eyes or their jumpy-ness.

  • terrydenise
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I have seen horned toads every year out here in rural america. Every once in a while one of the kids catches one and carries it around to scare anyone who doesn't like the looks of them.
    I have one canine that loves to catch the regular toads until her mouth foams up and then she just barks and drools all over everything. She never hurts them but I bet they get a good scare, hence the "foam".