Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Putterer Makes Every Day Earth Day

Today in my office an unusual exchange took place between editors. By tradition we pass copy from one to another, the writer, the editor, and the top editor each takes a turn at synthesizing and perfecting the sentences and paragraphs that will eventually be published in the magazine. But instead of words, my friend and fellow editor Laura Helmuth passed along a plastic yogurt container housing some 30 tadpoles and I was delighted to accept the gift.

The gift was precipitated because I had casually mentioned the other day while I was in Laura's office my ambition to invite toads into my garden. I had heard that they live happily near small pools of water in dark shady corners requiring only an overturned flower pot for shelter. In return, they will eat up all the bugs and pests that plague my plants. They are the necessary ingredient that every gardener desires, a living, breathing pesticide machine.

So my toads, should they survive their transition from tadpole to hopping garden johns, are yet another creature in my backyard ecosystem--birds, butterflies, bees, cats, kids, dogs, friends, (an occasional foe) and now toads. In my backyard garden, I practice love for mother Earth. I honor the plants and trees, I study the natural world. With compost, I return the nutrients to the soil. I grow food. I grow flowers. And I rest and I play there. This is my tiny corner of the Earth. And I am a conscientious steward.

And that brings me to another topic. Jan, a fellow garden blogger, who hosts a blog called Thanks For Today is requesting that garden bloggers share the ways that they are "actively practicing a greener lifestyle and contributing to protecting our environment." And so, Jan, here's my pledge to you. The first tadpole to grow legs and climb out of the primordial pond, or yogurt container, and take up residence in my garden will be named for you. Jan, the garden toad, we'll call him. The Putterer


  1. Dear Beth, I am still laughing after reading your last sentence;-) I suppose it's an honor to have a toad named after oneself, so, I am indeed honored! Thanks so much for participating in this project. We used to have a pond but it was directly under a lot of trees and was continually covered with leaves. The next one I have will be in a sunny area. I will be rooting for your tadpoles to survive into 'toadhood' and become inhabitants of your pond and gardens. Please send me a photo of 'Jan' when he arrives;-)