I managed to sneak in a little gardening this weekend too. I use raised beds, no tilling required. A combination of alpaca manure, leaves, grass clippings and sometimes shredded paper put right in the bed and allowed to compost makes a wonderful, crumbly soil rich in organic matter. Now, in the spring, I just mix in the previous years mulch with what my Dad always called a scratcher (a cultivator? a long handled tool with three offset curved tines). Mine is old. When I saw it at an auction, I made sure it went home with me. It is exactly like the one my Dad had, and reminds me of him.
As I was scratching away at the bed, I saw the soil move. What the?
Isn't he cute? It makes me very glad I don't use a tiller. He would have been chopped to bits. Instead, his nap was just disturbed. I put him back in the bed, covered him with a little soil, and he soon buried himself proper and went back to sleep. Or whatever it is toads do when they bury themselves.
My goal is to be a good steward of the land, so it makes me feel like I am doing something right with the soil if toads like to overwinter in it.
I also found this.
Aren't birds amazing? Master weavers and builders. It was very windy, so it must have blown out of the tree. Assuming that it a new, unused one, judging from the lack of feathers or bird poop, I am saddened to see all that work go down the drain for the birds. On the other hand, I'm glad it fell down now, empty, rather than going when it had a little bird family in it.