This has clearly been a banner year for toads in East Texas. For that matter, it’s been a banner year for walking sticks, frogs, praying mantises, grasshoppers, beetles, snakes, and a variety of other critters.
But we normally have a collection of toads in the immediate vicinity of the house, and this year that collection has grown into a horde. Each night as they become active, it’s not at all uncommon to see six or eight of them just around the carport, all of varying sizes and color schemes.
The majority are east Texas toads (Bufo velatus). We have other species, of course, but B. velatus is ubiquitous.
From sunset to sunrise, finding toads has never been easier. (A little too easy since it’s been necessary to watch carefully when walking lest you kick one or step on it.)
As morning rolls around, they begin heading off to their various hideaways and burrows. Though the outside cats ignore them (they learned early not to mess with toads), the dogs are fascinated and just waiting for a chance to grab one. We don’t really want that to happen, but it would be a lesson hard learned for the canines.
With so much food available, not one of them looks like it’s starving. And if you catch them in the right mood, they not only look healthy but they also look downright adorable.