My garden gnome -- 06/01/09

I've got an odd-looking little dweller in my garden. He is quite homely and lumpy and craggy and wart-covered... and I've decided to give him the position of being my official garden gnome.

small toad next to oregano plant

He's just a common toad... although I am not quite sure which particular species. I was looking them up online and found some that looked quite a bit like him, but never found one that was an exact match. I guess I'd have to call in a consulting toadologist. (Well... what would you call someone who specializes in studying toads?) His ability to hide in plain sight was really quite good. When I first saw him -- with his back towards me -- I thought he was just a dried up leftover leaf lying on the ground next to my oregano plant. It was only when he didn't move in the breeze the way other leaves did that I realized he was a toad.

close-up view of toad

He's quite a bit more impressive in a close-up view (held the camera closer, used full zoom, and cropped the photo a little bit). He's larger than life size in this picture -- in actuality I don't think he's more than two inches end-to-end.

Well, as long as we are out here in the garden, let me show you what that looks like now...

a view of my garden: lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant, etc.

That's Romaine lettuce in the closest corner. Further along those rows I have some red leaf lettuce. (Yes, I stuck a few extra red leaf lettuce plants in around the tomatoes and eggplant.) Well, I guess that just identified a few more plants. The green stuff beyond the tomatoes is a row of red radishes along the walkway, a row of carrots next to them (too small to see), some mesclun mix lettuce, and the strings are there for some climbing peas.

The area where I had the trees cut down a few weeks ago is in the back of our backyard and that will take a lot of work to turn it a garden. Depending on my progress, I might stick some lettuce there to see what happens, but basically that is going to be a vegetable garden next year, with some dwarf fruit trees and some berry bushes as well.

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