Friday, July 30, 1999
Carlisle Comments: Mr. Toad
"There's a Toad in my spider plant." Now that's a statement I'll bet you don't hear everyday. But it's really true. This summer a real toad is living in my spider plant.
This spider plant hangs in the window of an upstairs bedroom all winter. In the summer, the plant hangs on a hook on the front of the house, about five feet off the ground. This has been the plant's history for the past 7 or 8 years. Upstairs in the winter, outside in the summer. Not a bad life for a plant, and it has been healthy and without a roommate, or potmate all its life.
Early in May, as usual, I placed the plant outside for its summer vacation. Normally the plant just sits there and grows and waits for me to water it. Its babies hang down as usual and swing in the breeze, but they are still about three feet off the ground.
During our very dry June this summer, I watered the plant almost daily. One morning I noticed something weird and slimy-looking in the dirt of the plant and thought I might be watering too much and had caused some strange kind of fungus. Imagine my surprise when this fungus clung to the outside edge of the pot when I tried to remove it. There really was a toad in my spider plant. He is about the size of a quarter.
Mr. Toad, as we call him, can usually be found in the dirt in the top of the pot. This was his favorite location for the first few days after I discovered him. Then one day he was gone. He was gone all night. We think he had a date because the next day, there he was again. How did he climb up there?
A week or so later he disappeared again for several days. This time we discovered him in the saucer that is attached to the pot. Now the opening slit is much thinner than Mr. Toad, but he seemed to be quite happy there sitting in the water. Probably much cooler there.
Each day, we check the pot, sometimes he is on top, or upstairs; sometimes he is in the bottom, downstairs; and sometimes he is out to lunch. So far he hasn't brought any of his dates home. We have never seen him enter or exit.
Today, Mr. Toad surprised us again. When I went to do my usual pot check, there he was, sitting on the rim of the saucer. His head and shoulders sticking out and his rear quarters sitting in the water.
I hope he finds a new home before he gets too big for the bottom of the pot or before the plant has to come inside for the winter. Most of the toads I have seen in our yard are much bigger than Mr. Toad, so maybe he is young and we should be calling him Master Toad. But he is welcome to stay as long as he can.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito