Thursday, May 7, 2009

Eastern American Toad

One of the most common sights and sounds of spring and summer are the Toads. This one was photographed in our goldfish/ koi pond. I often see them swimming in the pond and resting along its edge. I believe this one to be the Eastern American Toad (Bufo americanus americanus). They are common state wide. My yard is home to several of these warty little guys. They are hugely beneficial to have in your yard. They consume earthworms and numerous other insects. They are fun to watch, and delight children of all ages. I remember as a child I could not wait until the toads appeared. I still catch them when I see them, I just can't resist. There is something so darn cute about them. I remember my husband saying to not pick them up that they will give you warts. That is simply not true. While it is true they often urinate when you pick them up. Who can blame them, I imagine if some giant picked me up I might just pee myself out of fright too! I will say, that if you have very sensitive skin, you may get water blisters on your skin from the excretion. I recall while camping on the Nodaway River one weekend many many summers ago. I came across a small toad in our campsite. I decided (In my infinite teenage wisdom) to drop this poor toad down my husbands( then boyfriends) shirt. It proceeded to urinate on his back and left blisters. While the blisters did not hurt, they were a bit unsightly. He was less than thrilled at my little practical joke (and he still married me). During March, April and May these little amphibians are looking for mates. I am serenaded each evening by their mating calls around our pond. They are a joy to listen to, and summer would not be the same without them.

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