It all started with a sailing adventure in Bayfield. "It was a dark, hot and sticky evening that August in Bayfield...." Tony and I walked the docks to the soda machine, money in hand to buy a drink, but before we could buy our sodas, we noticed a very large toad, sitting in front of the machine and he was looking up. What was he looking at? He was looking at all the bugs gathered in the light of the machine. Though toads have long tongues, he could not reach them. So Tony plucked a bug from the machine and offered it to the toad, who ate it without a word of gratitude. We fed the toad many bugs before we had our sodas that evening.
The next morning he was nowhere to be found. I looked and looked. Where can he hide, where can he be? I couldn't find him anywhere, but that evening, he was back, expecting another handout, no doubt.
On the way home from our adventure, those words, 'where can he hide, where can he be?' went around and around in my head and finally came out as the poem, Toads. It would be many, many years later when Janelle Thompson and I connected through her daughter, Jenny, and Janelle made the poem into a beautiful children's picture book.
The next step was to find a publisher--(where can he hide? where can he be?)--and since no publisher was to be found, we decided to become a publisher; but what to call the fledgling publishing company? Michael Doran said, "Why don't you call it Toad House Publishing?"
So there we were, Toad House Publishing, and after that every thing just kept coming up toads and the building, under deconstruction and later reconstruction became Toad House. Now you know that part of the tale.
Onward to today: Hollis Helmeci, our librarian, gardener, and artist has agreed to be the first named curator at Toad House. (Toad House is multi-faceted, so we need many curators) Hollis will be the curator of the Garden of Quince and Toad. In her first duty as named curator, she looked at the plot between Highway 8 and the front of the building and came up with a plan to create an old fashioned flower garden with colors we have in place at Toad House. She kindly gave me some seeds of various yellow flowers (You did guess yellow, didn't you?) and asked me to start them as her space for starting seeds is limited and is shared with her resident cats who claim most curiosities, such as newly seeded ground as their own.
I started the seeds a day ago and today when I went out to moisten the ground, I found another reason why we named the building Toad House.
| Look to the left--a little toad found his way into a cozy spot. |
Look to the right--a great big toad also found a place to nestle into.
|Here is a close-up of the little one|
|And here is a close-up of the big bad bufo.|
As I said, "The proof is in the pudding."