DSC_0007American Toad on 5.5-inch-wide board

As I worked at my computer yesterday evening, I saw something tiny hopping across my lower deck, a something tiny I’d never seen before.  I was astonished to find that it was a miniature toad, approximately .5-inch long.

With the help of google, I studied the life cycle of the toad and charted its brief life backward.

On or near April 1, the toad was one of a string of thousands of eggs that had been laid and fertilized in Santoli Pond.

On April 13, it was one of the fortunate few that emerged as a tadpole, not having become a caviar appetizer for some other animal.

Between June 5-10, it left the pond as a toad to explore its food sources in the area.

And on June 13, it became the newest visitor to my deck.

Last week there was the egg-laden Snapping Turtle, and more recently it was a dozen or so tiny slugs that had left a slimy, glittering map of their explorations on the deck floor and on my newly washed patio door windows.

I couldn’t help but wish that some gourmet critter with a taste for escargot had intercepted the rush of slugs.

Photo © Carole Clement


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