Toads Aplenty

Back in March and April I photographed American toads mating and laying eggs in our Wetlands. On April 11, I photo’d the small, black tadpoles that hatched from the eggs swimming in the shallow water of the swamp to the west of the Main Wetlands Overlook. Again, this time on May 20, I took shots of the tadpoles as they were about to become toads. They still had their tails, but also their legs. They would soon be ready to hop out of the water and become true toads.

On the rainy day of May 23, hundreds, no thousands, of miniature toads were making their way across the pavement adjacent to the swamp, heading for the woods and grasses where some of them would spend the next year becoming adult toads.

If they didn’t get stepped on in their trek across the pavement, many of the tiny toads (about 3/8”) would be eaten by snakes, birds and even other toads and frogs. It’s a perilous journey. But, think of it this way, if all of the millions, (probably billions – each toad can lay 2,000 to 20,000 eggs per season) of toad eggs laid each year hatched, matured and became toads, we’d be over run with toads. So, let the snakes, birds, and other predators have their share.

Here’s the photos:

Mating American toads (March). Note strings of eggs trailing off to top right.
American toad tadpoles (4/11/17).
American toad tadpoles ready to go (5/20/17).
Can you see the toad, it’s center frame (5/23/17).
Same toad as above (5.23.17).
That’s my index finger at bottom (5.23.17).
A perilous journey for these small, difficult to see and avoid, toads as they crossed the path (5.23.17).
Many won’t make it through their first day (5.23.17).

Be careful where you step!

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