Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Part Three: Tossing Toads and Grinning Ground Hogs

So my past two posts have been about window-well animal/amphibian rescues. They may not have ended up like I wanted them to, but hey, I should get an "A" for effort at least. The rescues didn't end there. Oh no they didn't.

The window well that faced the backyard was only 2 feet deep, but it, too, had it's share of wild things in it. One day I looked to find a big ole toad in it. When I say big, I mean BIG. The body of the toad was as big as my HAND.

photo courtesy of

I didn't want to see that poor thing die a slow death in there, so I put on one of Jim's work gloves and scooped that bad boy up. It gave me the willies just to hold him, even with the glove on, so I ran like my pants were on fire to the back of the yard and hurled that toad over the tall wooden fence. The last I saw of him, his arms and legs were widespread, and his mouth was in a perfect "O", just like "Oh No, Mr. Bill!"

photo courtesy of

At the back of our yard, along the fence, and crossing the property line, was a huge green metal box that housed a power transformer. It was big and it was ugly. I hated it, but it seems that a local ground hog loved it. Yep.

photo courtesy of

He took up residence underneath it! He dug a large hole next to the box, and would come and go as he pleased. Not only did he have a nice, snug, warm place to sleep, but also a food source nearby. You see, I had bird feeders hanging nearby. So he would come out and munch on whatever seeds the birds carelessly dropped to the ground. If there wasn't enough to satisfy his huge appetite, he would stand on his hind legs and shake the pole to knock out more seeds. He was a crafty little devil.

My friend was visiting from Virginia one day and happened to see him outside. She screamed, "Oh my God, it's a BADGER!"

I laughed so hard! "No, it just a groundhog!"

One morning I looked out my kitchen window only to find that a couple of the tubes from my bird feeder were lying on the ground.

This had happened a couple of times before. It could only mean that Mr. Ground Hog was shaking that pole quite vigorously.

All of a sudden I saw him come out of the hole and waddle over to the tubes filled with seed. Then he grabbed the tube and started pulling it towards his home!

Say what?

If I didn't stop him, I'd never see that tube again! I jumped up and ran outside, screaming, "Let go! Let go!"

(My neighbors were used to my oddness.)

I scared the animal back into his home and rescued the tube and put it back where it belonged.

But one day I had to rescue the ground hog.

You guessed it.

He fell into the window well. Luckily it was only the 2 ft one and not the 5 ft one. I had no idea how to get the little guy out. (I'm using the term "little" loosely, here.) There was no way I would touch him or pick him up.

I called my husband, Jim, who was conveniently out of town.

He suggested that I put a 2 x 4 board in the well, and thought that the animal would climb out of it. I dug around in the garage and found a piece long enough that would work and stood back to watch. Nothing.

It seems that the ground hog wasn't going to move with me watching him. So I went back into the house and by the next morning he was gone.

Yes! Mission accomplished!

Of all the critters I've dealt with in our little suburban yard, none can compare to the Battle of the Chipmunks.

Stay tuned.....


Anonymous said...

I love these stories, you need your own show...Pat, animal rescue! ;)

wenn said...

you are such a brave person!

Bossy Betty said...

It gets better than this????

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

oh-my-goodness! you are my hero - saving wild animals and such. i would have run the other direction if that animal had fallen into my window well.

can't wait to read on.

Betty said...

Love it, Pat! Good for you! Saving wild animals! How awesome is that!!
Missed your stories :)
B xx

Snowflake said...

Instead of organizing a Bocce ball game at VVV you could teach us how to "Toss a Toad"!!!! Love your blog and miss listening to your stories!!!

Joann Mannix said...

And I thought I had trouble with my possums and armadillos! Sheesh! that just gives me the shivers!

Thanks so much for stopping by my LOL feature. I really appreciated your nicey nice comment!

SquirrelQueen said...

Poor toad, he never knew he could fly. At least the ground hog survived the encounter with your window well ...... he did survive didn't he? Sorry!

Chipmunks? Sort of like tiny squirrels, this has got to be good.

Brian Miller said...

haha. you should get your own show on animal planet...smiles.

Gail said...

Wild Kingdom in the window well...

Bonnie said...

Your life is just one adventure after another! You will never run out of material for your blog!!

misslynda said...

Yuck on toad-touching, too. Did you all ever think about putting boards or screens over that window well? But if you had, we wouldn't be reading these fun stories!

Ruth said...

I wonder what they think of you?

Allen said...

Whew, I thought you was going to say you was going to try to pick him up. The 2x4 was a great idea.

Love the stories. Keep them coming!

becky said...

Pat, somehow I missed a couple of posts & had to catch up! And girl, you still crack me up! You freak out holding that big old toad... but it's sweet that you wanted to save his life anyhow... well, if he survived the "flight!"
:) wondering where in the U.S you are now?

Karen said...

Gotta love Window-Well Pets. Not! I have a couple of 5 footers myself, but thank goodness don't get your variety of critters!!

Carletta said...

Have you ever thought of doing stand up comedy?
I swear you'd be a hit. :)

Mama Zen said...

Knowing my luck, that frog would have ended up living in an aquarium in my house!