21 February 2008

Other signs of spring

Primroses, cyclamens, buds about to burst on the forsythia — all those are harbingers of spring. And the toads. They have emerged from their hibernation.

A toad on the gravel outside the back door

Last night after dark I went out with Callie for a few minutes. Pretty soon I realized there had been an invasion of toads during the evening. I saw at least a half dozen of them. I had to come back in and get a flashlight because I was afraid I would step on a toad by accident if I kept walking around on the gravel. I also got my camera.

A toad against a background of rocks and moss

The toads really are a sign of imminent springtime. They will soon migrate toward the duck pond out back, on the edge of the vineyard, and start their mating ritual.

They are ugly things, aren't they?

I think I also heard a frog croaking over in the neighbors' yard last night when I was outside. The toads don't croak, as far as I can tell. The frogs usually come out a little later in the season. They are bright green and they do a lot of loud singing for a few days or weeks.

P.S. I'm getting bogus comments from somebody named Ivan. At least I think they are bogus. Don't click on the links in his comments or on his name — you might catch a virus. If Ivan is really a person, maybe he will respond to this warning. I suspect he's a robot. I delete his comments as soon as I see them, since they consist purely of a link to some suspect site.


  1. This comment has been removed because it linked to malicious content. Learn more.

  2. Bonjour CHM, if I get another "comment" from Ivan, I will re-institute the character-typing for comments. I clicked on Ivan's name and saw that same advertising you saw. Maybe it is harmless. To be safe, I ran a complete scan of my system with PCTools SpyWare Doctor and with a version of Norton Anti-Virus. Neither program found anything very unusual, just some tracking cookies and other annoying but not dangerous programs or viruses.

    Rain today as well as yesterday but the temperatures are mild. Nice weather for ducks -- and toads.

  3. Your toads are ugly and cute...if it's possible to be both at the same time!

    I clicked Ivan, and immediately went into a panic. I'm so new at the internet. I was told that the computer was infected, kept getting message after message on what to use to get rid of the virus. It took me half an hour to remove those messages. My son has installed a McAfee VirusScan on the system. He'll come soon to
    inspect. So far everything seems OK.

    I kept thinking: Curiosity killed the cat. What was the cat curious about? I don't have a clue...

  4. I have a new kitten and they are curious about everything! It's a wonder that she's not dead already since she's into mischief constantly. She loves computer cords and batting at the dog with her claws.

    I left Ivan alone, but I was tempted to look. I've been told to ignore the messages that look like his. Ebay is the worst offender- trolls send out false stuff all the time.

    I'm on a Mac also. My dh just set a friend up with a new imac with the big screen- wow it was beautiful!

    Spring must be springing there, Ken- those toads are a hoot. I like frog music.

  5. That first toad picture is a classic!

    I think Ivan is scarier than the toad, though...

  6. The toads may be ugly (in the eye of the beholder?), but the gravel at your back door is beautiful! A lovely variety of colors.

    New Bern

  7. I, too, clicked on an Ivan the other day without thinking. Nothing bad, I think, but I have an antivirus program and a spyware filter on.

    Great toad pictures. Ugly they may be, but they eat bad bugs in the garden. Do you also have spring peepers, with their incessant shrilling for nights on end?

  8. If I see any more suspect comments, I will turn the letter-typing security feature back on. That will at least block out robots.

    BettyAnn, the gravel is pretty isn't it? It had rained earlier in the evening, so it was wet, and that brings out the colors. I think the camera flash also highlighted them.

    The peeping frogs will probably be out back in a month or two. Meanwhile, the toads will do their thing. It's nice to see ambphibians, which are so endangered around the world. Our seem to be thriving, despite whatever chemicals they might be using out in the vineyard.

    Evelyn, it's amazing how much nicer the display on our new Windows laptop is compared to our old flat-panel monitors, which are both approaching 10 years in age (and are still very nice). They have made great progress in LCD displays for sure.

  9. Great photos, Ken. Toads are not that easy to take photos of! Does Callie want to chase them?


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?