Although I will often see toads among the garden critters, today was the first time I’ve ever seen a frog. We’ve been having a bit of a heat wave this summer and with no frog habitat nearby, I was very surprised to see it. I was milking the goats and the cat chased it into the barn. Then chased it toward me. I stuck out my foot to stop the cat and scooped up the frog. I took it outside and set it down by our outdoor water hose that leaks while it runs (so there was a little pond). It stayed there long enough to get it’s picture taken, but later after finishing my chores, it seemed to have moved on (or hidden better).
I’m always excited to see frogs, toads, snakes and other predators moving into the farm. In this era of poisons as a solution for pest control, the real losers are those that used to hunt them, but that get so over-loaded with poison that they mutate and die out. Meanwhile, the pests adapt to the poisons and only those that can survive breed and pretty soon the whole population of pests can withstand DDT. But slower breeders like predators and humans accumulate greater concentrations of poisons in our bodies, so it takes us longer to bounce back. The down side is that the pests come back twice as hard and now we’ve got a real problem because we’ve eliminated everything that used to eat them. Population explosion of pests fueled by monocultures and not regulated with any natural systems.
My goal, as a farmer, is to create habitat for the predators and let them do the hard work of controlling my pests for me. The frog was a surprise for me. Since our farm is located at the top of two water sheds, we have very little standing water close by. So this little frog must have made quite a journey. I remember frogs were all over when I was a kid, but pollution seems to have taken its toll. This frog seemed to be in good shape, no deformities that I could spot.
Other predator critters I’ve seen this summer include: preying mantis, snake, and toad.