Getting hugs from a toad

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Unlike ducks that refuse to stand still, frogs and toads are good models for photographers visiting ponds. They usually hold their poses for several minutes. They don’t do it for us. It’s their strategy to be inconspicuous so nearby creatures might make the mistake of getting within the reach of their mouth or long, sticky tongue. Toads will eat any wiggly thing that fits in their gullet.

I took a dozen photos of this handsome amphibian who humored me by ignoring the small leaf hopper — aka a snack — beside him (left). Then I picked him up to move him to safety off the asphalt parking lot where I found him hunting for a meal. As I touched his flanks with both hands, he shielded his head between his front feet rather than leaping away from me — a behavior I’ve seen before; it must be a typical defense strategy. He finally relaxed and actually snuggled up to my fingers (top) so his entire underside, from chin to butt, was touching my flesh. I think he liked the warmth of my hand after sitting on the heat-sapping pavement.

After getting warm for a couple of minutes, he raised up letting me know it was time to leave. He looked over my hand (above) and realized the ground was far below. He waited for me to lower him before he hopped away to continue his nightly hunt.

American in the hand of the photographer

Sideview of American Toad

American Toad ready to go back to hunting for insects and other munchables

Douglas Peterson

Douglas Peterson

Douglas Alden Peterson is a graphic designer/writer in Brighton, Michigan who has spent the last 30 years doing freelance strategic marketing and design for large and small companies under the name Visualeyes. In his leisure hours, he creates a blog where he records the lives of SUBURBAN wildlife, birds and other animals that have learned to tolerate the (often annoying) human species. You can learn more about his business side by visiting Vizzle.com or click the "Web" link below to visit his nature blog.

Douglas Peterson

Douglas Peterson

Douglas Alden Peterson is a graphic designer/writer in Brighton, Michigan who has spent the last 30 years doing freelance strategic marketing and design for large and small companies under the name Visualeyes. In his leisure hours, he creates a blog where he records the lives of SUBURBAN wildlife, birds and other animals that have learned to tolerate the (often annoying) human species. You can learn more about his business side by visiting Vizzle.com or click the "Web" link below to visit his nature blog.

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Ken_Billington

Douglas, welcome to our multi-author blog – this is the first article about toads posted on our blog – I found it highly interesting with outstanding photos. Thanks for sharing.

Douglas Peterson

Thanks for the welcome, Ken. I’m glad to be part of your fine organization and look forward to providing other suburban wildlife images.