One of the biggest treats for me living down by the river is being around so many toads. I love these little critters!! You can hear them croaking constantly, and lumbering/hopping through the grass at night, and outsmarting the toad hunters down by the river…
One day, I noticed a funny string in the pond at the edge of the river. This little pond had been cut off from the main flow and was warming up quite nicely. The toddlers had fun playing in it, and apparently, it was a good spot for the toads as well. Anyhow, I found this funny string, which had to have been over 50 ft long. I had no idea what it was!
As you can see, it was a clear jelly like line, full of these little black dots. eggs? Alien eggs?
I kept going back to check on the string, and in a few days the shape had turned from round, to more of a… let’s say “mouse poop” shape. The string became weaker over time, and in a few more days it was obvious that these were little tadpoles! I felt like a proud toad mama!
I left for a few weeks in the summer to run my camps in Victoria, and missed the moment we’d all been waiting for when they emerge from the water. When I got back I search and searched for the tiny baby toads that must have been hopping around in the thousands, but it took a few days to spot one. And then, once you see one, you see more….
I have done a little research, and toads can live up to 10-15 years. They reach full maturity in about 2-3 years but less than one percent of the baby “toadlets” make it. Their warty skin apparently tastes bad, and it is not just good camouflage.
So, it’s now October, and the toads have migrated up to higher ground, and I’ve noticed that on sunny days, they all come out from under our pallet deck outside the bus/outdoor kitchen. This is the winter home, I guess! Perhaps I can “accidentally” drop my babies some food? Here is a photo I took just the other day, can you spot all 4?