Thursday, August 20, 2009

American Toad

Isn't this American Toad, Bufo americanus, such a beautiful creature? The myriad earth tones, the lovely eyes, the gentle nature...

From The Frog Book:

Toads choose cool, moist places in which to live. They are often found in cellars, under porches and sidewalks, and in various dark or damp hiding-places. They seek such locations not only for the shelter, but also for the moisture. A toad never has the pleasure of drinking water in the usual way. All the water that he gets is absorbed through his skin. A toad kept in a dry place grows thinner and more distressed-looking, and is likely to die within a few days; whereas one provided with plenty of moisture remains plump and contented as the weeks go by, even when there is a scarcity of food.

It would, however, be a great mistake to think that a toad does not take pleasure in drinking. He sprawls out in shallow water or on a wet surface and has a contented expression in his wonderful eyes as he literally " soaks in " the water. In the country in midsummer, when pools and springs are dry, toads very often travel long distances to spend the night on the wet ground about a well of some sort.

Dickerson, Mary Cynthia. The Frog Book. New York, 1913. 78-9. Web. Google Book Search. 19 Aug 2009.


  1. Toads are so cool- one of the sure signs of late spring here on our lake is when they start "trilling" (mating calls) in our cove- it can be loud enough to disturb our sleep and at times continues around the clock for a week or two. People who kayak into the cove during the "trilling" time are always asking us where that noise is coming from! Around July 4th, give or take a week, we have what we call "tiny toad" time- hundreds and hundreds of newly hatched baby toads are hopping all along the banks of the cove and all over our lawn. And I do mean tiny; three or four can fit on a dime, maybe even six. I freak out trying to walk, fearful that I am stepping on them. Spring and summer evenings, particularly on wets ones, toads of all sizes hang out in our driveway which is dirt and runs along one edge of the cove. Walking my dog at night with the flash light shining, I see dozens of them; my dog likes to nose them to make them hop then she jumps with fright when they do! Ever tickle the side of a toad with your finger? They will lean into it- apparently they like it! It's so cute!

  2. Ha ha! I'll have to try tickling a toad! :-) It sounds like my cat's behavior.

    You have such a good dog, don't you? She seems to get along so well with all the wildlife.