Of Christmas Lights, Sticks, Frogs, and Toads

The snow has completely melted from our shady front yard. Early, when you consider that in the old days, we always hoped it would be gone by April 22, our youngest daughter’s birthday. Until recently, this was never a given. Now, we can more or less count on it.

The mud has mostly dried up, too. In our backyard this year, on a scale from 1 to 10, I would rate the mud factor a 3, with it going away relatively fast, too. I never even lost a shoe in the muck, which sometimes happens. However, we don’t have any kids or dogs to churn up the backyard, and no doubt that makes a big difference.

Now that the snow and mud are gone, it is time to begin spring yard work. Because we live in the woods, there are always branches and twigs to pick up. I am gathering up the sticks and putting them into outdoor trash cans. They will come in handy this summer for our fire pit. (The branches have been stacked on one side of the backyard, and they, too, will be used for the fire pit.) When the kids come to visit, we’ll have fires and make s’mores.  Always fun, especially as it’s been over a year since the kids have been home.

Because we are Mainers, we always wait until the snow is gone before we take down the Christmas lights. This habit is equal parts tradition, negligence, and practicality. After all, it’s not much fun stomping through knee-high snow to take down lights.

Surveying our snow-free yard, Clif and I decided that yesterday was the day for taking down the lights.

Farewell, my lovelies! See you next winter.

To cheer myself up after putting away the lights, I brought out a couple of my toads. More to come, and frogs, too!

To add a little silly fun to frog and toad corner, I bought this sign to cheer things up.

For those in the northern hemisphere, happy, hoppy, froggy, toady spring to you all!




65 thoughts on “Of Christmas Lights, Sticks, Frogs, and Toads”

  1. I found a toad in my pantry this morning and dispatched it outdoors. They do this sometimes as the weather turns colder, seeking refuge behind boxes or under furniture during the winter. I LOVE your sign!

  2. I love the toad and frog sign! Wishing you a happy spring! It’s a little too dry out here for this time of year. We need more rain going into the season.

  3. Your garden looks so different without the snow. How long before it snows again? Do you put up the lights again before this happens? A house in the woods – what a wonderful location.

    1. I hope it won’t snow until next December. Occasionally, we do get an April storm, but the snow doesn’t last long. I hope we don’t get snow that lasts until next December. And, yes, we make a big effort to get the lights on the hedges before the snow comes.

    1. We have them every summer when the kids come to visit. A nostalgic treat. Plus they are pretty darned good, as my Yankee husband would say.

    1. Same! It would be so disappointing not to see the family for another year. Fingers, toes, and everything else crossed that those vaccines knock back that virus!

  4. Laurie, I enjoyed reading about your Christmas light tradition. That sounds so practical. I love your toads, frogs, and your cute sign. Whimsy is always a charming way to welcome family and friends. I’m sorry it’s been a full year since you saw your children. It’s been close to that since I saw my younger son in person, too. I can relate.

  5. Happy spring to you down the road, Laurie. Here the river’s already come up once, which is also early. We’ll see whether these signs of early spring slow down a bit or not. I’m not counting my chickens before they’re hatched! 😊

    1. Best not to count those chickens too soon, but I do believe spring is here. Not that we couldn’t get an April snow storm. We could. But the mud is nearly gone, and winter is over.

  6. Two of my neighbors still have their lights up. I’m beginning to think they may not be Christmas lights. In any case, they’re ready for Cinco de Mayo, which is just a month away. Then, there’s July 4th — and after that, it would be silly to take them down at all! And to think, we don’t even have snow to contend with. (Well, most of the time.)

    I watched a half hour Animal Planet program this morning about the biggest toad in the world. I can’t remember its name or where it lives, but it’s a huge thing, and it kept me entranced through two cups of coffee. Toads need more respect!

    1. Some Mainers leave their lights up year round. Practical. 😉 And, yes, toads need more respect. They are delightful creatures, a gardener’s friend. We have lots of real toads in our yard, and I am always happy to see them.

  7. What a great sign, I love it. 🙂 It is nice to see all the spring things getting set out into the garden again. Warmer days are here again, yay!

  8. I took the last of the Christmas lights down yesterday too. It was such a beautiful day. I had four strings of lights at the very top of a tree that didn’t come down easily when I took the rest down last month. It was too cold to spend a lot of time out there, so I decided I’d do them when it got warmer. It was a LOT of work, they came down a lot harder than they went up! But it’s done. AND I saw my first turtle crossing the road for this season while I was doing it. Seems cool, especially since when I put the lights UP I saw three eagles soaring in circles over the house, something I never see around here. So, putting up and taking down Christmas lights is sort of turning into an adventure!

  9. I love your frog sign. Taking down decorations and lights always makes me feel a bit sad, thinking of a festive time ending, however, we put solar lights on the trees in the front garden all through winter, so that makes me feel most of the year is festive! Hope you are able to catch up with your family sometime Laurie, hopefully happening soon….

    1. Yes, always sad to take down the lights. Those solar lights sound great. There’s something both cozy and magical about solar lights. I love them.

  10. It’s definitely spring. I had to move a frog out of the road the other day. It seemed injured because it won’t budge. Couldn’t find it the next day. Hoping it got itself back to the swamp.

      1. I know. You’re not a person who likes sweets very much. But for those of us with a sweet tooth, s’mores can’t be beat. Plus it’s something we all grew up having in the summer, so there is also a nostalgic element to it.

  11. Love your amphibians and the sign! I leave some of my Christmas lights in place all year – fairy lights in the lean to greenhouse look magical on a summer’s evening and the ones that are stapled to the shelves are just too much work to take down and getting the staples out sometimes damages the wood so although they are very rarely switched on they stay put.

  12. I’m with you on all the reasons that Christmas lights stay up until… I just took our down on Easter weekend too. That was more an artifact of preparing for guests in mid-April, at which time we wanted the deck set up and it is easier to take down the lights before the sails go up and the furniture is in place. And, I wanted to do that before I made a quick trip to California (which is cooler than WV at the moment) to visit family. How does living in the woods get so busy?

    S’mores a coming. – Oscar

Comments are closed.