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There has been a recent spate of wildlife coming back, and whole new bits wandering in. Some, like the blue-bellied racing lizards and the little birds and the dragonflies, were scarce due to my now-deceased Tomcat’s hunting prowess. Others, like the buzzards and the foxes, are new. And since I now have a camera to document the cuter aspects of the wild world (or at least the ones that hold still long enough- I mean you, gorgeous-blue-dragonfly-that’s-terribly-skittish), I bring you…. Teh Cuteness.

Part OneThe Pumpkin King’s Toads

My beloved boyfriend, grower of pumpkins and all around good guy, pulled up some pumpkin vines that were spent so he could refresh the dirt in the tires (our growing vessels; it’s kinda sorta recycling, I think?), fill in the ground squirrel holes, and refill with oodles and oodles of horse poop (which definitely counts as recycling).

My mother (Dowager Empress of Corn, remember?) had mentioned that there were two toads, one a little bigger than the other, living in the vines. Our toads around here never get much bigger than a silver dollar, and make a insane cute peeping-ribbit. So when my boyfriend calls me out to help him catch toads to put them in a bucket, so we do not squish them under tires and wheelbarrows, I’m thinking of little puffed up silver dollar toadlings.

This is what we get instead.

And these are just the ones we could catch O.O

The biggest one was bigger than my palm. We caught 9 or 10, and at least 3 got away. I have never seen toads this big out here. Ever. Neverever. The coloration is vaguely similar to the silver dollar toadlings, but the defined white stripe is new. And, since we had them in our nefarious clutches gentle paws, we took a few more pictures before we let them out in temporary housing (i.e., under a long raised bed/box, so they were cool, protected, and able to re-colonize the tires at their whim).

The little guy's making a break for it!

They do not care too much for the five gallon bucket. I can honestly say I have seen toads dance, bellyflop, and do the splits. Poor little guys.

Toad Mudra

Toad Mudra- Art of Toad-no-Jumpy on Stitches.

This little one is what makes me think that these are new or previously unseen instead of older toadlings. He’s about the size of the silver dollar toadlings but he was smooth. The toadlings are bumpy and humpy. More grey than brown, too, now that I think of it.

Also, let it be known that the Pumpkin King does not like to touch the Toads of the Vine, so #1 Minion (me) was the one who released the ribbitting horde.

Thus ends the anecdote.

Part TwoHere Lizard Lizard Lizard

While I was being lazy, the King decided to go forth in the hours of the morning and do various garden-y things. (Not that I would mind doing garden-y things, if my knees would listen to me properly right now. I went to kneel today and almost hit the floor. Multiple times.) He comes back holding a piece of foam pipe insulation with a small, adorable passenger.

Say hello to my little friend.

He is a blue-bellied racing lizard, barely 2 inches long. He’s so young his belly is only barely blushing blue. He hasn’t even had his tail eaten yet. (This type of lizard drops their tails if caught by a predator. Rare indeed is the old grizzled lizard with a long tail ’round here, especially if it was alive when Thomas the Cat was still up to hunting.)

Long, lovely tail.

(Sorry ’bout the armhair >.> )

This one has the most beautiful dusty gold stripes down the sides. I’ve seen dusty blue and green, too. The most striking one I ever saw was black– nose to tail black on black, patterned somewhat like my little buddy. Gorgeous.

I am a diva! Now feed me a fly and hold me in the sun, so I may bask in the adoration of my public!

When we bring in wood in the winter for the stove, we find them sometimes, hiding in the wood-cracks. I’ll hold them, get them good and awake, and then let them go so they can find a new hidey-hole before the cold puts them to sleep again. When I was a little kid I’d catch the teensy ones like this guy whenever I could.

Closeup plz! Get my good side!

He enjoys chin scritches. Doesn’t care much to be stroked along his back. He mostly just sat on my finger, basking in the sun and people-warmth until I let him go in the garden.

One last picture for the road. He was suprisingly patient with the huge camera stuck up his face.

Oh. One more thing? This adorable little guy crapped a dried up super turd on my hand about 2 minutes after this picture. My boyfriend nearly died laughing.