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Hey, welcome to our site about Toads and Frogs! Our goal is to share everything there is to know about frogs in highly researched, yet easy to understand articles, infographics and videos.
A Childhood Passion For Toads & Frogs
I have had a passion for frogs since I was a child when I first found a baby toad hopping around our backyard. I was about six yers old at the time.
Learning About Toads
A few days after finding the baby toad, I found a larger one struggling to get out of a window well in our yard. I quickly ran and got a long, flat piece of wood and made a ramp for the toad to climb out of the well.
I watched it crawl out of the window well and hop away as best a toad can into the yard. I knew it could fall in again, but I didn’t know anything about toads.
So I went to my school’s library and learned everything I could about frogs in the books that were available. I learned about a toad’s favourite habitat, what toads eat, what toads need to survive and more.
Adopting a Wild “Pet” Toad
Before you continue reading, the toads in our yard never came into our house and I did not touch them (I can hear my grandmother screaming at me now saying they could give me warts!) I just made the yard a safe place for the toads to roam freely.
One day after school, I made the window well the best toad home I could. It was already out of the sun since it was facing North, it had a soil bottom so the toad could burrow, I just added a dish of water, a pile of dead leaves, branches, shelter and a long piece of wood for the toad to escape.
Thank goodness there were already lots of disgusting bugs for the toad to eat.
A few days later, there it was! A toad enjoying the new toad home! I named him Toady Wartface after a toad on one of my favourite TV shows at the time. He became my “pet” or “free-range” Toad (keep in mind, not really a “pet” – still a wild toad).
My parents were happy because the toad cost them nothing, required no maintenance, I was learning about animals, and it kept the basement window clean. I loved watching the toads in our yard, living its best toady lives 🙂
Learning More About Frogs
Now, to be honest, I probably had a few “Toadys” since there wasn’t just one in our yard. The toads roamed our yard freely and there were may different toads that came in and out of the window well. But I sure remember that one year before Fall, there was a toad so large in the window well it could have hibernated two winters and survived!
I loved observing the toads in the wild and got to have first-hand experience with how toads live day-to-day, eat, burrow, and hibernate. I learned that my dog was a predator and I had to keep him away while Toady was roaming the yard. Having a wild “pet” toad was a great experience for me as a child to learn about this fascinating species.
I Named The Blog “Toads N’ Frogs” Because The First Frog I Saw Was a Toad
Having experience with toads also made me very passionate about any classes I had about frogs at school. We learned about the frog lifecycle and went on a class trip to learn about aquatic frogs, but I did not understand why they were so different from toads at the time. When I started this blog I realised that the differences between types of frogs were not well explained on the web. This is one of the reasons I started this blog.
Trying to Understand The Toad Stigma
For some reason there always has to be an adult around trying to ruin a kid’s fun. The adult in my case was my grandmother. She would yell at me from the kitchen window to stop being around Today because:
- Toady was “going to pee on me and I would get warts”
- I would “die if the toad poison got into my blood”
- “Toads are venomous!”
- “Girls should not play in the garden”
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I was afraid of the things she would say to me as a child. I believed her, adults knew everything, right? I thought so, but I was wrong. Not only do toads and frogs not give warts, frog urine cannot give you warts, American toads are not lethal, and I love to play in the garden!
Another annoying thing I dealt with as a child who liked toads is that everyone in my family and friends found out, and had no more imagination than to get me stuffed animal frogs, beanie baby frogs, frog figurines, blankets, pillow cases, towels, CD cases, charms, earrings, keychains…
I think all the junk I received during my childhood was one of the factors that made me a minimalist today. Everything I now own serves a purpose, thank goodness. But why was it all about frogs anyway?
Toads have no representation in the “stuff” people can buy in stores because nobody likes them! People think toads can give you warts, they pee on you, and are gross. I guess I’m also proud to help break the stigma that surrounds the misunderstood toad species. They are so important to our ecosystems and will not cause us any harm if we leave them alone. Of course, Cane Toads are somewhat another story, but that is our own fault.
Learning More About Aquatic & Tree Frogs
Later on in life, my parents built a backyard pond that naturally attracted three frogs. Now, the internet did not provide very good information about this before our article on types of frogs, but aquatic frogs are very different from toads and tree frogs. You can learn more in the article I just quoted, but it was wonderful to see that, if you make the right environment, you can naturally attract aquatic frogs to your yard.
Another thing I love to do in my free time as an adult is to go searching for frogs in the wild.
One of my favorite places to do so is at marshes. I always notice a lot of people bird watching at marshes. While they are looking up into the sky, I am looking down into the water, spotting turtles, muskrats, and my favourite, frogs!
This is a very fun and rewarding activity. I love observing wildlife in its natural habitat. I learned a lot more about Tree Frogs in recent years as well. In the video below I take you on a journey with me and explain how to find the very elusive Spring Peeper. I had never seen adult frogs that small before! They are tiny but fascinating and can be heard miles from their location.
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An Environmentalist’s Adult Perspective
I looked at toads with wonder as a child. As a fascinating animal that live a very interesting life. Now, I see frogs and toads through the lense of an adult who has witnessed environmental degradation, expansive urbanization, and the slow decline of some of the most beautiful and fascinating amphibians in the world.
Frog Resources That Pair Childhood Wonder With Scientific Research And Hands-On Experience
Getting A Formal Education
I went to high school, hated the frog anatomy course (I explain my experience in that article) and then went on to complete a Bachelor’s of English, a Bachelor’s of Law and to obtain a Masters Degree in Teaching.
I did not go on to practice law, become a teacher or write books.
However, my Law Degree serves me daily in my rigorous ability to research, read and understand highly technical content. My English Degree serves me in making long, complex content more condensed, easy to understand and digest. And my Teaching Degree serves me in sharing this content with a pedagogical, didactic approach.
In reality, I have been an internet marketer in “complex” fields for the past decade. Although I am passionate about my other projects, they are fairly dry topics that do not completely align with my current values, which have changed over time. Writing about frogs and toads is a step down, and a step up. The topic is much more fun, a lot less “serious”, and is a challenge to provide the best content on the web.
Top Quality Resources For Google Searchers
I would like to share highly relevant, well-researched content about toads and frogs on this blog and in our videos. Most of the articles are based on scientific studies that were carried out by biologists. I am not a biologist myself, but their conclusions are extremely important in helping the general population understand frogs, toads and their evolution.
I would like to write with the same childhood passion I had when learning about toads, but with my new adult perspective. We cannot blind ourselves to the fact that frogs and toads are disappearing from our environment and I would like to encourage people to discover them in their location and attract them to their yard to provide them safe environments in which they can thrive.
Educational Resources For Teachers
My Teaching Degree has been very handy in building this site and I know this content can be an incredible resource for teachers at many levels of education. Throughout my career, I have had the chance to teach adults and children alike. I was a TA for a year where I worked with every grade level and student in the school, from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6! It was an incredible and rewarding experience.
I am very keen on the active learning didactic approach that encourages children to engage as active participants in their education. Having learned French as a second language in immersion in a foreign country as a child, I can confirm from experience that hands-on, immersion, on-the-field learning is excellent to stimulate children’s curiosity and actively, intrinsically motivate them to engage in their own education.
Active learning as a didactic approach may be difficult to implement in traditional schools, but can certainly help teaching evolve to better serve the needs of students today
Think back to course content you remember from your very early education in primary school. Honestly, there are very few classes I remember as a child in primary school, but I vividly remember the class trip we went on to learn about frogs. I can still see the bright sunny day, I can still feel the warmth, and I can still remember the excitement I felt when I found my first aquatic frog. This hands-on experience is what the active learning didactic approach to teaching encourages.
I will be providing resources for teachers. If you have specific requests for pedagogical resources (videos, specific articles, infographics, content for certain grade levels) please contact me. I will do my best to incorporate them into the blog or our YouTube channel.
A New Perspective on Hunting & Eating Frogs
Some people hunt frogs to survive, others to feed their families, and some people kill them because they think they are entitled to do so.
Frogs have been hunted for their leg meat for thousands of years and will continue to be hunted for many years to come.
I hope to provide a new perspective on hunting frogs for their meat that joins the deeply divided grounds between hunters and animal activists. I hope to help educators who use frogs in their anatomy classes see a different perspective on dissection for educational purposes.
Frog legs are delicious, and their bodies can be great pedagogical tools, however, there certainly are more eco-friendly, ethical, and respectful ways of sourcing frogs than traditional means that still prevail. And in reality, consuming frogs or using them in classroom settings is not even always necessary. I hope to open people’s minds to reconsidering certain practices they may have developed through culture or habit.
Encouraging People to Have Wild “Pet” Frogs
Before you read on, I am not saying to adopt a wild animal. I am suggesting to make your yard a great place for frogs so you can observe them in the wild, like a frog conservation area. Not telling you to interact with them or touch them. Ok, now keep reading.
I am sure there are great pet owners out there who have less traditional pets than cats or dogs and are passionate about them and take extremely good care of their animals. I think those people can make a great difference in the lives of their pets.
But there are a number of problems with just anyone keeping frogs as pets inside their homes:
- People do not realise they have to feed frogs live food
- Live food can be very demanding to grow or source
- Frogs require a rigorous tank cleaning schedule
- Some frogs can pose a risk to children and pets
- Some frogs are going extinct due to the pet trade
- People think pet frogs are cheap but they can be expensive
I truly believe that making your yard an awesome place for frogs is much better than keeping them as indoor pets, for us and the frogs.
I do not encourage people to keep wild frogs as pets inside their homes, on the complete contrary. This blog suggests making your backyard a frog-friendly place to naturally attract frogs and toads.
By creating the perfect environment to naturally attract frogs, you and your children can enjoy their presence, observe them in their natural habitat, learn about them, and help provide local Anura an environment in which they can thrive. No need to touch them or interact with them, just make them feel at home 🙂
I hope to share this fresh perspective on caring for frogs in this blog with many resources to help support this approach to interacting with frogs and toads respectfully.
Check Out Our Toad & Frog Content For More
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