Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Alan meets the official state amphibian of New Mexico

I don't know what's weirder:
1. that the state of New Mexico has an official amphibian;
2. that this amphibian showed up in my corral after Monday night's storm;
3. that this amphibian makes so much noise that it is probably what Lucy, George and Alan were listening to in yesterday's post.

Allow me to introduce you to the New Mexico spadefoot toad:
This one crossed my path as I was taking puddle pictures after the rain stopped. In all my years of living here, I had never seen a frog...toad...whatever in the desert. I didn't want to sound like an idiot when I wrote this post, so I googled for the difference between a frog and a toad. One thing lead to another, and now I know all about New Mexico spadefoot toads. They spend most of their lives buried in the ground and come out after it rains to eat bugs and breed. And they make lots of noise! Just ask longtime reader Clairz; I happened upon this post of hers in my quest for information, in which she has a recording of them singing in the pecan orchard next door.

Anyway, Alan came over to see what I was doing and gave chase.

Had he known as I now do that these toads emit a peanutlike odor if handled... 

...and cause tearing and nasal discharge if in close contact with the face, he might have backed off.

Luckily for Alan, Mr. Toad had more important things to do in the nearest puddle and leapt off to find Mrs. Toad.

Mr. Toad: I told her to meet me here at 6:30. Hope she's not going to stand me up. This could be our only chance all year.

Mr. Toad was swimming around in the puddle...

...when Lucy came over to get a drink. He dove under the surface, but Lucy spotted him out of the corner of her eye.

Lucy: Nom nom nom nom nom. Tastes like chicken.

Kidding. Lucy did not eat Mr. Toad. That picture of her was begging for a caption and I couldn't resist.
When last seen, Mr. Toad was swimming off into the deep end, still searching for a mate.


  1. Well now I'll just have to look up the difference between a toad and a frog. He'll be hard pressed to find any bugs in your yard with the chickens cleaning up the bug population. I hope the chickens don't eat him for lunch.

    Best always,

  2. I think he would make a lovely companion for ms. WYnonna. Both love a puddle and are happy to do next to nothing. Welcome, Mr. Toad!

  3. great shot of the toad, and our tree frogs are even louder than these, i popped over to listen on the other site.. after a rain i can't even sleep because of them screeching, but ours are not toads but frogs..

  4. That is a very fine toad! Hope you get some more rain!

  5. So glad to finally see one of the noisy little guys!

  6. "Tastes like chicken" **snort**. You had me going there!

  7. Cute and funny as always! Your pots are so enjoyable, I am addicted! Hope Toad finds mate...

  8. What a handsome frog! At least you don't have any Cane Toads for the long-eared kids to get mixed up with. I, too, followed the link to the frog sounds. It reminds me of my walking days when one of my favorite hikes was along the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta, a path followed by zillions of runners wearing their own music. I felt sorry for the idiots, because the path passed by an area filled with bird/frog/cricket songs and they couldn't hear it!

    Nancy in Iowa (for now)

  9. I've always wondered where frogs hide. We have crickets down in our creek area .. that dries up. Each Spring they sing for what seems like forever.

    Yours is sort of cute for a frog.

  10. I'm sure they have to be loud. Few and far between with a short window of opportunity. Loved this.

  11. We have "Peepers" and toads that are very loud as well. At night our pond sounds like it's over run, but they are hard to find durning the day. Creepy little things sound nice but, i don't touch them.

  12. What's his name? All the critters on 7MSN get names even if they are temporary guests (Amelia, Steve, Mr. P to name a few).
    And I didn't even think about the chickens getting it til Sandra mentioned. It sounds like he can defend himself with all the peanut stuff going on.

    Very cool pics.....

  13. Just discovered your much fun to read!! Thank you for sharing!

  14. I love hearing frogs and toad at night, but I think it would spook me in the middle of nowhere.