Posted by: simplyelizabeth | July 22, 2009

Of Toads & Trees

My goodness!  I can’t believe I havent’ posted for over two weeks!  Please forgive me for my inconsideration and consistent inconsistency. 

Thank you.

Well, we’re back to camping this week.  It really is great to be out there during the week because hardly anyone else is.  The hubby and I like the seclusion.  It feels as if the whole park is for our family. 

Last night, when I went out after work, the little darlins’ couldn’t wait to tell me what they had been up to all day.  In the morning, they ate eggs and bacon that were cooked over the camp fire.  They then went for a walk and a bike ride. They walked down by the lake and road around the two camp grounds. 

The most exciting thing to DS#1 and DS#2 was that they found many mini toads.  DS#1 loves to explore and pour over any creature he can catch.  DS#2 generally goes along for the ride.  Near our campsite, there’s a ditch that is filled with water and mushy mud and many mini toads.  I think it’s where they hatched.  If I were to get a video clip and zoom in on it, you’d think you were in Egypt and the plagues were coming back.  There are seriously that many.  DS#1 always wants to keep the creatures he catches.   He puts them in empty water bottles and tries his best to recreate their habitat.  DS#1 needs to read up a bit more on the habitats of toads.

While the boys were excitedly relaying to me their story of the toads, DS#1 grabs a water bottle from the picnic table and thrusts it in my face.

DS#1, “Look at all the toads I kept!  I put rocks and water and grass in there for them.  I think it made them happy.”

As I’m looking at the bottle, I see several poor little toads bloated and floating.  I hope God shows me more mercy and grace in my passing.

Me, “Oh no honey.  Most of them are dead.  It’s really best to no try to keep the insects and animals you find.”

DS#1, “They’re not  dead.  They’re swimming around.  See?”

Me, “No.  They’re floating, not swimming.  Oh wait.  There is one that’s still crawling around.  I think you should pour them out over there in the woods.”

DS#1, “OK.” (in a forlorn tone)

So off DS#1 trots with his water bottle of floating toads and the lone survivor.  I watched him turn the bottle upside and shake them out.  Do you remember I said there were rocks in the bottom?  Well, my guess is that there is no longer a lone survivor.  If there is, he’s got a heck of a headache.

We discussed it a little more and that’s when DS#2 chimed in.

DS#2, “I had a toad in my pocket, but it got real sick and threw up.”

Ahhhh.  The precious lessons of childhood.  I’m sure we’ll always remember the toads tenderly.

After that, we took a bike ride before dinner.  We road around our campground and went to the other campground.  About two thirds of the way around, DS#1 stops.  Here is yet another shallow puddle.  I warned there would be no more taking of toads today.  He told me there weren’t toads in the puddle, but thousands of tadpoles.  We all hopped off our bikes to look.  By golly, he was right.  It was like a science lesson in front of us.  they were really neat to watch dart around.  They had the big body and tails.  We didn’t see any legs yet, but I bet there will be in a couple of days or so.  I don’t think there were thousands, but I would bet there were more than a hundred. 

Yes, they wanted to catch them too.

No, we didn’t let them.

I will not have the blood of  anymore toads, big or small, on my hands.  Not on my watch! 

I’m Baptist and believe in the right to life.  Even the right to a toad’s life.

One of the boys biggest pleasures when we camp and we’re alone, is their freedom to “pee on a tree”. 

Yes, it is a crass way to put it, but the word urinate doesn’t rhyme. 

Apparently, if you’re a boy, there are not many bigger thrills in this world than the ability to drop your drawers and relieve yourself on the spot.  I don’t claim to understand, but I do see the convenience of not having to stop what you’re doing to go to the bathroom. 

We were playing whiffle ball with some friends that came out to visit, when suddenly DS#2 & DS#3 were absent from the game.  We turned around to look for them.  We found them pretty quickly.  They were standing next to each other at the edge of the woods.  All we could see were their shining back sides.  I’m pretty sure they smiling from ear to ear though. 

And that is life with boys.  Well, life with our boys at least.

Have a great day!

Blessings & Hugs, Elizabeth



  1. Boys have the life, don’t they?! Love your story – thanks for sharing!

  2. Sounds like boy adventures all around! I remember once when I was little, we tried to make a habitat for a little toad, but left it out in the summer sun. The next day, he was a petrified little toad. Oh, the things we do trying to be humane!

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