Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Envasion of the Toads

It was sometime last week, possibly Thursday, but maybe Friday, when we noticed baby toads hopping around outside in the grass, around my garden paths--just everywhere! I don't mean a few, either. It was an army. An invasion. Everywhere you looked there were several hopping along, going wherever. So small, they can be kept in a tea cup. Here you see I've caught one in picture below. Since they don't sit still very long and you can't really get a good picture of them in their environment. Thus I captured this one for a short time.

It happens every year that the baby toads emerge from their tadpole stage, and begin their determined migration that only they know the destination. I figure somewhere deep in the woods where there's mud and deep shade--and BUGS.

Anyway, this continued for at least 4 days, non-stop. When you went out, you tiptoed to avoid stepping on them, and they hopped one or two inches away, often falling through cracks, and over rocks and such, but you just tried to avoid squishing them.

It was one evening my husband noticed as he watched their march across the sidewalk below the window. "They're heading north. All of them."

I looked and indeed, all were definitely heading north.

True toads Bufo, have a thick hide which reduce water loss, thus they don't need to live in water, and can carry on just fine without being near water, until they are ready to mate.

To which we come back to the baby toads we've seen last several days after a heavy rain about two weeks ago. There must have been quite the baby toad boom in the residue ponding we had from that two inches or so of rain, because I've never seen so many baby toads in all the while I've lived here in Afton Forest Preserve.

While writing this blog post, I was interrupted by my husband (park manager of Afton), who came back up and I went to see what he needed (this time). He said, "Get your shoes on and that book you have (with everything from birds, flowers, animals to amphibians). As I got myself ready he explained he found a large turtle in a depression where he was mowing. What it was doing there was the curious thing.

I'll have the story about the turtle in my next blog of one of nature's events rarely seen in progress, and I got pictures! Please stop by again!



3 comments:

  1. You wonder how they know where to go.

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  2. Oh man, I bet it is noisy around your house now. I've lived around mating frogs!

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  3. ~William, not sure. Haven't been able to determine. But I hope a few stick around here, could use more bug eaters around the house.

    ~dolorah, the wetlands are filled with frogs and the chorous is wonderful. As far as toads, only got the one that likes our basement and makes a croak now and then. Somehow it knows it's way in and out (and being a over 100-year house, the holes things find to get in are a challenge to find and get covered or filled in!

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