As I was walking my morning rounds on Thursday to inspect the gardens,
I spied two toads locked in an embrace on the rocks outside the pond.
Now I am no amphibian copulation expert, but I do know the fertilization is external and therefore requires water.
Was this a rehearsal? A practice session before entering the pond?
I took photos of the entranced toad couple and went about by business as they went about theirs.
Many hours later, I walked back by the pond. They were still there.
The top toad, who we will call Mr. Backpack looked dry and maybe a little sunburned. (or was it afterglow?)
Mrs. Squeeze( the bigger, bottom toad) had turned a bit, but was still on the same rock as hours before.
I began to wonder if we had a defective toad population.
Did they not know that this activity should be done in liquid?
By this time I was regularly checking the toads out of irritation rather than concern. Must I do everything? Can’t anyone do anything right without my help?
Must I lead a horny toad to water?
As I was weeding that afternoon I pulled up a clump of weeds with what I thought was a bulb attached.
When I pushed the “bulb” back down onto the ground, it smooshed and wiggled…another toad.
Even after dark, the two aforementioned toads remained on the rocks. I should have dropped them into the pond, but as a biologist, I did not want to aid and abet defective genes entering the pool. (No pun intended.)
Finally, about nine PM, I spotted a pair of toads in a wrestling match in the lily box. I am yelling a blow-by-blow to my grown son and the neighborhood.
“She threw him off. He tried to get back on. She kicked him in the head. She kicked him again.”
I suddenly stopped. Really? Another toad? By the pond on the rocks. Were these even the same toads? Mr. Backpack looked too light colored. Was it another Squeeze on the rocks or another Backpack? I was thinking there were too many toads in our yard.
Here a toad, there a toad, everywhere a toad or two.
As I was walking past the carport to the weed pile, I saw a familiar silouette under my car.
There will be more toads.