A toad by any other name … would be a frog

Posted June 03, 2011, at 1:07 p.m.

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 column in the May 28-29 weekend edition.

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.