February 22, 2020

The Prince of the Greenhouse

In the continuing saga of a wee pop-up greenhouse – Part 2

The frog in the greenhouse

Janine Pineo Photo - The frog in the greenhouse

• By Janine Pineo •

Being a plant person, I should know better. Being a writer and editor, I really should know better.

That was no toad, dear readers, that moved into my greenhouse and was pictured with my May column.

No, the toad — or Mr. Toad as I call it — is a gray tree frog. Or maybe a gray treefrog. Depends on what you read and whom you trust.

I trust two readers who wrote to say that my toad isn’t. Oh, and they enjoy my column.

Online I went and found a bunch of pictures that sort of look like my toad, er, frog.

I haven’t caught it and flipped it over to check that its under-leg area — or its froggy inner thighs — is yellow-orange. That just seems rude.

Mine looks a whole lot chubbier than the ones pictured online. I’ve never seen mine in a tree. Or near a shrub. And there isn’t any permanent water nearby unless you want to count the often-empty watering cans. (Thanks for the facts, eNature.com.)

But I trust my readers. That’s because I know plants pretty well and often get a blurry picture or a half-wilted specimen and somehow still figure out what it is because I have learned a few things over the years about plants. Which means I wouldn’t know a tree frog from a greenhouse toad, but Judy from Maine and Warren from New Jersey would.

Next time, I will say an amphibian has moved in. Then maybe someone will take pity and tell me what sort of thing is crawling around my petunia patch.

I do know this, however: That was a snake I picked up.

But you’ll just have to take my word for it, since I don’t have photographic proof I wrestled a snake.

Either that, or there’s something hinky in Hudson with the nightcrawlers.

First published in the Bangor Daily News in June 2011.

Read Part 1 here.

Next time: It’s never too early to plan for winter