Today after supper I decided it was time to hay the lawn. Or mow it. It was pretty tall. I’d have cut it days ago except that it has been rainy. In actuality, I cut the front lawn and had Jonathan cut the north lawn. David was to do the south lawn, but it started raining by the time Jonathan finished his segment.

American Toad (Bufo americanus)

American Toad (Bufo americanus)


While I was cutting the front lawn, the mower chased four frogs out of the grass and into the woods. So I shut off the mower and went in for the camera. Frog photography is more important to me than short grass!

Last summer, frogs were conspicuously absent from my place. I used to see green frogs, bull frogs, American toads, wood frogs, spring peepers, and even a pickerel frog on occasion. But that was not the case last summer. I hardly saw any. It looks like they might be making a comeback now.

I think the frog absence was because my neighbor flew into a panic. She and her daughter have both been diagnosed with Lyme’s disease, so she got a pest control company to give all the neighbors quotes for spraying our property. This is the same person who refused to put DEET on her kid two years ago, and now she’s advocating the wholesale poisoning of even her neighbor’s property.

I did not want to have our place sprayed. I like observing (and photographing) insects and frogs. I figured that spraying would put a damper on that. So I told her I wasn’t going to do it.

Then I heard from the kids in the neighborhood that the pest company had indeed sprayed our property when we were not at home. I do not know how reliable that information is, so I said nothing, but I think she paid them to spray our place.

Then this spring we got a renewal notice from the pest company, which raised my suspicion even more. I called them and made it clear to them that they were under no circumstances to spray my property. They insisted that they had not, but could not explain why we had received a renewal notice if there was nothing to renew. I was pretty irate.

After I hung up I noticed that the address on the renewal notice had the wrong address on it. Our street skips numbers, and this was a number close to ours, but non-existent. It’s the same address that our neighbor uses when she sends Christmas cards, etc.

I called the pest company back and told them that I think they had our address wrong. By then, there was no way they were about to admit having sprayed our place without proper authorization. And honestly, if my neighbor was less than truthful with them, it was really not their fault. Too much (they should check these things!) But I guess business is business.

Of course this is all conjecture, and I’m not a litigious person. But all the same, I’m pretty sure I know what happened, and I’m not happy about it. Other than this incident, we have been on good terms with our neighbor, and I wish to remain on good terms with them. So I will not pursue this.

Then we had another neighbor move in (different house). I stopped and chatted with this guy last month, and he asked about the catchment pond. He was sure that it was causing his yard to flood. I explained that the city had built the pond, that they had a right of way to do so, and that they come and remodel it every couple of years. Therefore, there wasn’t much I could do about it, so if he wanted something done, he should contact the city.

Instead, he came onto my property at night with a flashlight strapped to his head, and dug a ditch, draining my pond! This didn’t make me any happier than when my other neighbor had my yard sprayed. This pond is where the green frogs and bullfrogs live, and without water, they pack their bags and move out.

I assessed the situation from an engineering standpoint. Fact: the city’s catchment pond is uphill from my neighbor’s place. Fact: draining a water body uphill from a flooded area is unlikely to reduce the flooding – instead, it adds more water to the area. Ergo: this guy is an idiot. I filled his ditch back in. If he comes back onto my place to re-open it, I will have words with him. I’m pretty sure the law is on my side on this one.

So with all the rain we’ve had the past couple of days, the pond has been refilling. And since the pest control company has been strictly enjoined from spraying my place, maybe the frogs have a chance to make their comeback. The four that fled the wrath of my mower are a very good sign.