Wisconsin has been the home of only one species of toad, with the scientific name Bufo Americanus–at least until now. A newly discovered species, Bufo Philanthropus, has shown up in various locations beginning last summer. These toads are easily identified by their large size (about 16 inches high and 24 inches long) and most obviously by their whimsical, artistic coverings.
Only 20 members of this species exist today and each one is very different from the next. Thus each one has its own name and story. There is Bufo Bluey and Bufo Expando, quite obviously named. Vincent Van Toad and Toadally Vivaldi take their names and stories from their human counterparts. Bufo Neon flaunts his colors and Ugh Ugh believes he is the most beautiful toad of all. The toads are currently hopping about town waiting for their final debut.
These toads, along with their 15 cousins will appear all together one last time at the Rusk County Farm and Garden show on March 16th at the Ladysmith High School. They are looking for good garden homes as they have been created with exterior plywood, exterior acrylic paints, and many coats of a clear, ultraviolet protection. They will live happily many years in a beautiful garden setting, especially if given the opportunity to hibernate with protection from the winter weather in a garage or garden shed.
Silent auction bidding for these lovely creatures will be from 9 to 12 with minimum opening bids of $50. Bids may be called in to 715-609-9721 if bidders are unable to attend in person. Each toad’s name and number corresponds to their place in a commemorative booklet. Booklets are available for $5.00 each and contain beautiful photographs of the toads by the talented photographer, Amanda Wilmot. The booklets also contain the name and story of each toad and the names of each toad’s artist.
All materials and artistic talents for the Bufo Philanthropus project have been donated for the Ladysmith School Enrichment Fund. All proceeds from the silent auction will go directly into the fund. For more information about this fund, please contact Karen Ek.The toads hope to reproduce for other area schools in the next year. Interested schools may contact Eileen this spring at Toad House.