Saturday, July 31, 2010

Meet Romeo and Juliet

These guys serenaded each other all night long last night from the comfort of our swimming pool. When I got up this morning, I rescued them from drowning (toads only swim so well) and took them out to a nearby wash and turned them loose where they could hobnob with their own kind and let me get some damned SLEEP! Cheeky little bastards!!

Actually, they are kind of cool.  They spend the majority of their lives underground, like 10 months out of every year, only coming out during our torrential monsoon rains to breed. Their call is amazing!!  Very loud and when they are out and about its generally in great numbers so it can be quite the cacophony.  Oh, and they can get to the size of a dinner plate, really really big.  And they are toxic to other animals. 

When I was a child we played with them all the time.  One time, my mom had called us in to dinner and we had one with us when we came in.  It was the size of a saucer, big ol' portly thing.  My mom said "Put in the bathtub for now and wash up for dinner.  You can turn it loose later".  Well, after dinner we went to check on it and it had laid about 75,000 eggs in the bathtub.  Yes, that number is fairly accurate and I am not exaggerating.  My mother (yes the same one I had a love/hater relationship with) was all about us kids learning things so when we begged and pleaded to keep the eggs in the tub, she acquiesced.  So for the next few weeks, we watched the miracle of eggs turn to polliwogs, turn to tadpoles and the joy of releasing little baby toads in the wild.  It was very cool.  

This was the best kept batch of toad eggs that ever existed, I can assure you.  Because they are cannibalistic when food sources get scarce, which is beyond icky!, we fed them and they had their water refreshed regularly.  It was kind of like being born at the amphibian Ritz.

I like critters and the toads are no exception, except when they keep me up at night.  Little boogers.

These two are pretty small.  That's a mascara wand for perspective.

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