Sunday, May 15, 2011

Thunder, Lightning and Giant Evil Toads

We had a couple storms move through our area yesterday and early this morning. Unlike the recent tornado-spawning storms in other parts of the country, we suffered no major damage. Just had some potted plants and patio furniture blown over, and our tomato plants took a beating. We didn't even have TOO many lightning strikes.

The Lightning DID strike hard in Boston last night though, as the Bolts played hard to a decisive win over the Bruins in Game One of the NHL Eastern Conference finals! It was a fun game to watch... unless you're a Boston fan. Gotta say, Tampa Bay's new owner, Jeff Vinik, seems truly committed to this team and this area. He's brought credibility back to the franchise, especially with the hiring of the great Steve Yzerman as general manager. In turn, in what seems to have been a genius move, Yzerman brought in new head coach Guy Boucher, who previously had only one year of experience as a pro coach in the AHL. Together, they've managed to bring out the dormant potential of the team. Can they win the Stanley Cup this year? Only time will tell, but they've definitely been playing like serious contenders. One game at a time, boys... We'll be watching and rooting for ya!

The storms yesterday and last night also may have been responsible for unleashing a treacherous menace in our backyard. While our dog and I were relaxing on the patio with the Sunday paper, I noticed movement by the fence out of the corner of my eye. I looked over to see a GIANT EVIL TOAD! No, seriously. It was a poisonous Giant Toad, also known as a Cane Toad or Marine Toad. Formerly known scientifically as Bufo marinus, now scientifically known as Rhinella marina, which sounds like some kind of sinus infection. These things are big and nasty! They also secrete a toxic substance that can kill pets, so I was really hoping our dog (who has a penchant for chasing lizards and frogs) wouldn't see it before my husband could distract him and get him inside. As soon as he was safely in the house, I grabbed a broom and the battle with the Giant Evil Toad commenced, with me pushing and flipping the slimy enemy toward the gate.

He did NOT go quietly. And yes, he secreted lots of the toxic ooze they're famous for. It's gross. It looks like sticky iced coffee, and unless something else was wafting in on the breeze, it smells bad too! I dueled the offensive thing out the gate and to the edge of yard, and was planning to go further when my husband came out and said, "Don't kill it! If you push it into the road it will get run over!" Now, maybe it's just me, but when faced with the choice of preserving my beloved dog's health and safety, or showing mercy to a nasty poisonous toad, I'm gonna choose my dog every time! I cannot believe my husband seemed to be feeling sorry for the toad! But to "compromise", I scooted the vile creature all the way across the road, where it hopped through a puddle and proceeded into someone else's yard. At least I don't think they have pets. Personally, if the thing hadn't been so big and fat and prehistorically gross, I probably would have left it in the middle of the street, got in the car and run over it myself.

I hope it's not over there in the neighbor's yard, plotting its revenge.

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