Friday, September 13, 2013

American Toad

The other night, I went outside with my pekes 
while they took their final walk around the x-pen 
at the foot of our deck. 
And there on the deck near the table holding my marble Buddha,
a small American toad, Bufo americanus, paid homage to the flowers
while looking for a late night dinner.

This photo by Tom Gula from the web site
shows the toad I saw:
Photo credit: Tom Gula,

I said hello to the toad and thankfully, he didn't hop at me 
or unfurl his sticky tongue in my direction.
He just looked at me with tiny yellow eyes.
Even though toads are good for eating insects and slugs,
I've never cared for their puffy, warty exteriors.
Plus they always look like they are in a bad mood,
with their perpetual frown and sleepy eyes.

My husband said he has seen Mr. Toad on the deck steps 
for several days now, so I'm glad Monsieur Toad had moved to the deck
before I encountered it.
They like moisture and wet places,
so that probably explains why we have seen him.
It's been a very wet year.

He's welcome to stay since our pekes have ignored him,
but American toads do exude a chemical from their glands that can be toxic.
It's also dangerous if you or your pet gets the chemical in the eyes 
or mucous membranes.
From what I've read, the most dangerous toads
are the Marine toad (bufo marinus)
 and the Colorado River toad (bufo alvarius).

I won't be putting out a toad house for our visitor though.
Toads don't use them because they prefer to burrow down under the soil.
So if you have one, or plan to get one,
just know that you may end up with a little nest of mice or wasps instead.
The toad will be somewhere else.

No comments: