Meet William, the chubby American toad who likes to spend most of his days lounging around my front doorstep. The first picture is a photo of William taken last year. The rest were taken on various days this year.
On one particularly hot day, as I watched him hop around our front step, something gave me the feeling he’d really appreciate having some cool water to bathe in. I quickly found a little green plant pot tray, placed it on the step and filled it with water. William immediately explored the new tray of water. It didn’t take him long to hop in. He remained in his bath for hours and now returns to it every day.
American toads live quite a long time, over thirty years, and they’re known to become habituated to the area they live in. Once they like a spot and establish a routine in it they will stick to it for years. Since they also quickly learn whether or not a new person or animal poses any threat they can become very tame. William understands that I pose no threat, and that the cat won’t attempt to harm him either, so he is happy to bathe in the water or sun himself on the rocks while we move all around him.
I enjoy having William around knowing that while he’s not resting he’s taking care of insect pests in the garden. He’s pretty chubby so I know he’s doing a good job out there. Since observing how a little tray of water has become so appealing to him I’ve done the same in my vegetable and flower garden. Now I have little trays of water out there too hoping they will attract more toads and convince them to stay and help get rid of pests.