Deliberate Agrarian
Snippet #38

Mr. Charles Dudley

Dateline: 1 June 2014

I like toads. In my Planet Whizbang Idea Book For Gardeners, on page 78, I have a couple of excerpts about toads from old farmer's almanacs. Here is one such quote…

Affection For Toads

Never kill the toads that frequent your garden. Not by any means remarkable for beauty, they are, nevertheless, very useful in destroying insects, particularly those that fly in the night. Toads feed almost exclusively on insects, and the amount of good they do is immense. If we could always reconcile ourselves to the old adage, "Handsome is as handsome does," and conquer our prejudices, we should cherish the toad as a true friend. A young lady once told us that she "perfectly doted on alligators." It would be much more sensible to fix her affections on toads.

My toad, Mr. Charles Dudley

The pictures above show a good-size toad that lives and works in my garden. Maybe I should say, our garden.

I named him Mr. Charles Dudley, after Charles Dudley Warner who was something of a garden writer back in the late 1800s. Page 34 of my Garden Idea Book has several quotes from Charles Dudley Warner. And later in the book I present this CDW quote:

"I think the agricultural society should offer a prize for the finest toad."

Well, if such prizes were being offered around these parts, I think Mr. Charles Dudley would win one of them. He's quite large and he is one of the finest toads I've had the pleasure of meeting. 


Anna said...

I could be wrong, but I'm betting that's *Mrs.* Charles Dudley. Female toads are usually big and wide like that, while males tend to be much more petite. She/he probably doesn't care what you call him/her though. :-)

Herrick Kimball said...

Hmmm… That thought did cross my mind.

Thanks for the lesson on toad sexing. I should have known.

Hopefully there will be a whole bunch of Dudley young'uns.

David The Good said...

Heh. Female Americans are usually big and wide like that too.


Long day.

Love the toads. I've been hoping they'll breed in my small ponds. Tireless workers for good.

Nick L. said...

A friend of mine had a trailer in the country and after a few years bats took up residence in his barn. He noticed a large decrease in the bug population his property of about 60 acres. God has it all figured out.

SharonR said...

I know they're good, but I can't help but jump when I see one. I saw one today and jumped. Those things are invisible until they move. I was just glad it wasn't a snake. I like the name for your resident toad. :-)