Some people protect their favorite fishing hole—refusing to divulge the sacred spot. Well I have secrets, too.
Dirty little secrets. Toad secrets.
With amphibians in decline worldwide, I’m protective of their whereabouts. And when I run across one on a hike, it’s a moment of joy.
So yesterday’s meet and greet with a Western Toad (Anaxyrus boreas) was pure bliss.
Discovered under a log along Paulina Creek , I was mesmerized by this stocky, sluggish beauty with golden eyes.
The Western Toad ranges in color from pale green to grey covered with large bumps. Remember that childhood warning: touching toad skin will give you warts? Not so.
But these toads do pack a punch with a protective poison packed in a gland behind their eyes (parotid gland) which can exude a thick, nauseating substance designed to ward off predators. This mechanism leaves these slow moving creatures well equipped to fend off faster moving predators such as coyotes and raccoons.
So as I contemplated the wonder of this toad and basked in the glory of this glorious mountain meadow toad habitat, I savored the moment.
Toad sightings are a rarity. Toad populations are in decline due to loss of wetlands, habitat degradation and environmental changes. That saddens me.
I’ll admit I’ve been called a tree-hugger. And perhaps after today’s post some may label me a toad-lover.
I’m okay with that. Know why? Because God loves the humble toad too.
Yep. Look at Genesis 1:31 ~
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
This little toad was handcrafted by the Creator. And God thought it to be good. Very good.
And that, my friends, makes me smile.
The earth is the LORD’S and everything it it, the world and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.” Psalm 24: 1-2