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Happy Birthday America, & the Life of a Toad
July 02, 2012

Happy Birthday America, July 4TH, 1776.

Canada, I hope you had a wonderful and blessed birthday this past Sunday.

Here is a tidbit .....

July 4TH, 2012 is also when Earth is farthest from the Sun.

Earth's aphelion (Farthest point) is 94,511,523 miles (152,092,425 kilometers), that day.

Pardon me my friends, American and from other countries.

I'll hear about this, and there will be some angry readers.

It happens.

With all of her faults, I am still proud to be an American.

If you don't like what is happening, let your elected officials hear about it.

That goes for local all the way to Washington.

America was founded on certain principles, it is time to stand up and reclaim those freedoms and rights that are written in the Constitution.

By divine call, shaking off the oppressive chains from Great Britain 231 years ago.

Our founding fathers sited 27 biblical violations when they wrote the 'Declaration of Independence'.

Boy Howdy, this has been one hot spell for most of us.

Heat is one thing, but when you have air that you wear...............

That adds to the level of being uncomfortable.

Most of us need rain in a bad way.

Do pray for the people and the fire ravaged areas.

Of the 55 men that formed the constitution, 52 were active members of their church.

These men believed you couldn't call yourself an American if you subvert the word of God.

Do you think the ducks like hanging out around here?

Yeah, it happens, but I get a big kick out of it and I'm looking for a nice " Duck Crossing" sign I can put out near the street.

All for the cost of some cracked corn, a fresh drink and some shade when needed.

With nature, no two days are a like, and that goes for my
yard as well.

Every winter, a pair of Red-bellied woodpeckers will visit and leave when spring and nice weather arrives.

This year is different.

The pair continue to visit from time to time and no are bringing a pair of offspring with them.

The young, fledged Red-bellies cry like babies, as the parents grab peanuts from the feeder and give to them while they remain in the canopy.

I haven't had a chance to take pictures, but I can tell you they are mostly gray with the white stripes.

No red heads, no strawberry pink belly, mostly gray.

Adult colors will come with a good molt later this year.

"The Bible is the cornerstone for American Liberty."

Thomas Jefferson

(He then put it in our schools as a light.)

The first of the month also means it is time to Clean and Sanitize Your Feeders. A healthy feeding station is always good, and you may find that location and what feeders you have, make a difference.

A good scrub down, sanitize, and rinse is good for all.

If you are in a big hurry, spray feeders with rubbing alcohol.

Alcohol evaporates fast and doesn't leave any harmful residue

Feel free to spray down hooks and hanger where birds land as well.

Hot weather also means green birdbaths and other water sources. Again, keep your water fresh and clean. A cap or two of bleach at dusk will kill of the algae and cooties in between regular fill ups and cleanings.

By daybreak, the chlorine will have oxidized with no harmful effects for your birds.

A piece of copper pipe or several pre 1980 copper pennies will also slow down algae growth as well.

Be sure to keep yourself hydrated and offer fresh water to your pets and other animals.

We have been inundated with baby toads the past couple of weeks.

This is a yearly event that takes place around the same time every year.

This gets me to thinking about the journey and what a toad must endure to survive.


"Our Country was founded on the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Patrick Henry

About two weeks ago, I started to notice the baby toads once again.

It is after all, that time of year the a mass migration of toadlets.

Karen noticed them too when we came home from church last week.

No bigger than .5 of an inch in length (not quite 1.5 cm).

You have to watch where you step, there were so many toadlets.

The curious mind that I have at times, got to thinking and wondering about "A Toad's Life".

"We staked our future on the abilities to follow the Ten Commandments with all our heart."

James Madison

Found throughout the contiguous 48 state and much of lower Canada, the American Toad is our most common species.

Adult toads like all frogs, need water to mate, and we happen to live near a couple of ponds.

In early spring, it can get rather noisy as the males sing out for the females.

Once eggs are laid, they can hatch in three days to two weeks, as it depends on water temperature.

A single female can lay several thousand eggs, yet many of these eggs become food for other creatures before they hatch.

Fish, water birds, large water beetles, all make a meal of toad eggs.

Once the eggs hatch, something happens.

The little black tadpoles now become a bit toxic, and are off limits to certain predators that can get sick and even die.

In six to eight weeks time, the tadpoles of American toads have become baby toads, or commonly called toadlets.

Their frog cousins may take a whole year to become young frogs.

The toadlets hang out near the water for a few days, when then urge hits to find cover on dry land.

Mass migrations take place, as the toadlets hop for cover.

Most will head toward woodlands where they instinctively know there is food and cover for them.

Another God given feature of these wondrous creatures.

How they know to find my yard is another story all together.

"We have eliminated God from the equation of American life, thus eliminating the reason this nation first began."

I don't lack for toads,

In fact, I'm sure I have more than my fare share of the land lubbers.

My yard offers plenty of shade and protection.

I water so I have plenty of cool and moist spots for them to hang out in and hunt for food.

Toads will even adapt their
coloration to blend in with heir surroundings.

I have toads that blend in with the cedar mulch.

Some toads are almost black, while others are brown.

Fitting in with the soil and dead plant matter.

I must confess, I've accidentally killed toads before by stepping on them.

But what about the tens of thousands of toadlets as they leave the nearby ponds?

"You can't have national morality apart from religious principles."

George Washington

Yet another tool provided by Nature........

Toads are Toxic.

I'm thinking baby toads are fare game to all sorts of birds and creatures of the night.

Not so.

While some wading birds, crows and a few other species have learned to turn toads over and
feed on the tender and toxic free belly, most birds have learned to leave toads alone.

(Studies are now showing some predatory birds are also doing this with Cane Toads.)

Even the bumps on our American toads secrete a toxin that deters most predators.

So where do all the toads go?

Raccoons too learn the flipping trick of toads, but that can't eat that many.

Could your basic backyard bird flip toadlets for a tender tummy as well?

Some snakes specialize in frogs and toads.

Hog nose snakes (in Michigan, often called Blow snakes) feed on toads with no ill effects.

I have witnessed Garter snakes with a mouth full of toad.

(Toads will fill up with air to make themselves larger and more difficult to pull from a burrow and to swallow.)

Still, where do all the toads go?

"The philosophy of one generation in the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next."

Abraham Lincoln.

I wonder how many baby toads become fertilizer when I mow the lawn.

It does happen if they are hunkered or i move them when I can.

By mid summer, I still see scores of now inch long toads.

I know their is plenty for them to feed on, and I welcome everyone of them.

Toads will eat just about anything that move in front
of them, but I haven't found anything on toad cannibalism.

Earwigs, ground beetles, and slugs.

Yes, they eat slugs.

When few other creatures will touch the slimy things, toads love slugs.

Still, is my question answered?

What becomes of the Tens of Thousands of toadlets that come from my pond alone?

Even with a toxin deadly to some creatures, there are still enough predators (including shrews) that all of them combined help to keep toad populations manageable.

"When we eliminate God from the classroom and politics, we eliminate the nation that word protects."


American toads are able to mate at two to three years of age.

The average toad however, lives only a year.

Mature toads can grow to the size of a man's fist.

In temperate climates, they hunker down (often below the frost line) and hibernate.

You may sometimes dig up a frozen toad that is almost as solid
as a hockey puck, yet very much alive.

They require water to mate, in drought years, there may be no water in some locations.

I factor in the human element, lawn mowers, roads and cars, pesticides and other chemicals.

Now I rub my head and am thankful we still have toads around at all.

I feel blessed to have so many of these garden friends.

I shudder to think what the slug population would be like around here (there are still plenty of them).

The couple weeks in spring when the American toads fill the night air with song.

I can't imagine the silence if there were no toads.

"Look at the past 45 years my friends.

The Supreme court has removed prayer from school, and look at our schools.

Remove God from government and look at our government.

Remove God and we remove His blessings.

Our very nation was based on the bible and religious freedoms.

Freedom from government telling us what and how to worship.

Now this very government is playing god and doing just that".

Ron Patterson

Attract American toads to your garden by offering a few things.

Food, protection, and water.

Food are the ubiquitous insects and slugs.

Cover and protection should be your plant life, though you may offer a turned over pot or even purchase a toad house.

For me, it is simple plant cover and moisture.

A well watered area or moist soil is ideal for toads (and slugs).

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God Bless.

"Sound the Alarm America.

Let your leaders know.

We Need God."

“Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. The course of history shows us that as a government grows, liberty decreases.”

Thomas Jefferson, 3RD President of the United States of America

Don't rely on government, look to Jesus.

But my God shall supply all
your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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