One morning a couple of months ago, I was racing around with the electric buggy trying to get the property ready for mowing. Storms were predicted that afternoon and there were good chances for rain over the next few days and I had already let the lawn get too long. After driving around both sides of the perimeter fencing to pick up trash, I dashed down to the canyon below the slope to pick up branches near the wildlife tub and feeders, so that I could easily mow that area too. Mowing day was a kind of game for me. I was always looking to find new paths to save time mowing, and I often tried to beat my time on the mower from the last mowing. Today, I would be racing against possible storms so, as I drove back up from the canyon and neared the driveway where I would park the buggy in the shade, I let off on the accelerator to let the buggy slow down on its own where I could swing my left leg over the side and jump out as soon as the buggy rolled to a stop. But as I made my move to exit the buggy, I saw in horror what was about to happen… and it was too late stop the buggy. What I saw was a toad nestled down in the crushed rock. As the tire rolled over it, I felt my stomach churn.
Immediately, I grabbed a nitrile glove from the glove box, and went to the toad. It was completely camouflaged in the rock and seemed to be fine – I could see no blood and the toad seemed alert. But when I gently picked it up and turned it over, sure enough, there was a bleeding, ragged gash on the belly near the hind legs. On closer inspection, it appeared to be a deep cut and a fleshy, fibrous tissue was gaping from the wound. I apologized over and over to the toad, and felt helpless to do anything. Mulling over my options, I knew that it was bleeding enough that making a trip to Wildcare might be in vain, but maybe I could keep an eye on it overnight and see how things looked in the morning. I set the toad in the shade on the driveway near the house and dashed off to the metal building for a plastic tub. When I returned, the toad was gone. I followed a short blood trail into the front flowerbeds. After looking a bit and not locating it, I realized there was little I could do at this point, and I had to get on with the mowing anyway.
The next couple of days I looked for the toad, but of course it was an impossible task. I hoped the smell of its blood hadn’t attracted a varmint or snake to have a meal of it. Hopefully, I thought, it would survive somehow, or at the very least, maybe it had died quickly.
Then yesterday when I had the dogs out to do their morning business, I saw a black dirt clump in the grass. How odd, I thought. Why would there be mud there? But then, walking up to it, I saw it was a toad. It looked about the same size as the one I had run over earlier this summer. On the outside chance this might be that same toad, I ran inside for a glove and my iPhone, but returned only to find the toad had disappeared! Fortunately, I didn’t have to look far, as my friend had jumped nearer the flower beds where his dark color blended in with the wet dirt. I managed to capture him and, when I turned him over, I was thrilled to see it was indeed the toad I had injured this summer! There was a scar and a reddish tone to the skin in the immediate area of the wound I had inflicted on it so long ago, but it had healed nicely. I also noticed his hind feet appeared to have been hurt in the accident too, as there were blackish spots on his toes. By this point, the toad was tiring of my inspection and becoming quite uncooperative, so I decided not to bother him any more than I already had. As I set him back in the grass, I noticed he had already changed color. Adapting and transforming, as toads are well-known for, he was going about the life he was destined to live. Once again, I was reminded of the resilience of nature, despite the recklessness of humans.
© 2018 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…