Toad Time

Top Photo: American toad calling from wetlands.

American toads have begun their annual breeding frenzy. The large toads’ loud trill can be heard across the wetlands as they vie for mates.

Once coupled, the toads move along in the water trailing behind strings of thousands of eggs, fertilized by the male as they emerge from the female. The eggs should hatch in about a week, the tadpoles becoming miniature toads in about two months, that is, if the pond in which they’ve lain their eggs doesn’t dry up beforehand.

Mating pair of American toads (note eggs).

Our main pond usually survives evaporation. But many of the toads that lay their eggs in the small swamp on the west side of Explore the Wild don’t make it through to maturity.

A survivor from a previous year.

Redbud, the spring standout of flowering trees is starting. You can’t miss its magenta flowers in the otherwise gray/brown forest understory.

Just the beginning.

Stay tuned for more.

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