Friday, July 13, 2018

A Happy, Relaxing, Summertime Toad

I had quite a fun surprise at a local park last night. There's a little pool area where the koi fish swim. It's fun to watch the fish glide around. Well, this time I saw something plop in and kind of scoot along the water. At first I thought it was a chipmunk or small rabbit, of all things. I know how much sense that makes, but I'm just so used to seeing chipmunks and baby rabbits lately. What was actually there was this adorable toad.

Look at this toad, just lounging on what looks like his personal pool noodle. To give you an idea of scale:

I was of course curious to know what kind of toad this was specifically, so I looked up some toad identification charts. Turns out there are a lot more toads out there than I realized. After studying some toad photos and visiting Wikipedia, I found this is simply "The American Toad". Pretty exotic name, hey? Haha! Somehow I was expecting more!

Three types of toads fit into this category: The eastern American toad, the dwarf American toad, and the Hudson Bay toad. Since I don't live in the Hudson Bay area, and this toad was in the 3" range, I'm going to say my toad was of the eastern American variety.

You guys might be interested in reading more about this toad on its Wiki page:

American Toad Wikipedia

It's the standard toad stuff. This toad likes fresh water, living near wooded areas, eating a variety of bugs, and hibernates. But two interesting bits of info are:

1) It makes a sound much like a ringing telephone when looking for a mate.

2) Some of these toads have been known to live 30+ years! Wonder how old this one was?

It's funny, but it seems the best way to get some attention from the fish is to focus your attention on a toad! The fish kept swimming over to me while I was following the toad around the pool. At one point, the toad and one of the fish nearly collided. So long as they were there, I couldn't pass up having a fish photo shoot!

I think this one has the most personality:

I call this one "The Ghost Fish"

So here's where the toad and fish were swimming around. Isn't that pretty? The lighting features are new this year.

Have you guys been seeing any toads this summer? I often think I'm hearing them chirping away at night, but this is the first one I've seen this year.