Wednesday, April 22, 2009
A Blessing of Toads by Sharon Lovejoy - giveaway!
23. A Blessing of Toads
A Gardener's Guide to Living with Nature
by Sharon Lovejoy
paperback, 294 pages
A beautiful book in every way. The subject matter, the illustrations, the feel of the paper. It is really exquisite. I first heard of Sharon Lovejoy from my long-time internet friend, Aisling, and I am so grateful. The author truly loves the creatures of this earth, and not just the pretty, sweet ones. She sings the praises of skunks and snakes, as well. They each have their own special place in the scheme of things.
The title comes from a delightful little chapter extolling the virtues of toads. In a 1915 pamphlet called Usefulness of the American Toad, A.H. Kirkland wrote:
Of the toads' total food, 62 percent was made up of harmful insects. Should ants be included as injurious, as many housekeepers would think proper, this figure would be increased to 81 percent. Toads fill their stomachs to capacity up to four times in a single night, accounting for as many as fifty-five army worms, thirty-seven tent caterpillars, sixty-seven gypsy moths caterpillars, or seventy-seven thousand-legged worms.
Because of the superior job they do, Sharon Lovejoy says "a knot of toads" just isn't good enough, and feels "a blessing of toads" is the apt phrase.
The chapters include information on how to attract various creatures to one's garden, including houses and even some food recipes. The author's enthusiasm and love for her fellow creatures is contagious, and the reader comes away from the book with a new awareness and understanding of the birds and beasts and bugs of our planet home. I want to pass along this delightful book, and will offer a drawing. If you would like the book, please leave a comment from now through Sunday April 26. I'll do the drawing on Monday April 27. I will send the book anywhere.