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.
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!
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