Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Trysting Toads, Eager Student

Yesterday was full of errands. There was grocery shopping and doggie obedience school and a welcome rain that all conspired to prevent any photography.

What would I post tomorrow? Sure, I had beaucoup barred owl shots in reserve ... but unless I catch one in the act of eating something or doing the tango, I'm not posting another owl on a limb shot.

Around midnight, I stepped outside with Bear and Gumbo for one last "do your business" walk before bedtime. My mind was not on doggy urination for a change, but preoccupied with what to post this morning.

The pups and I walked out into the humid toadsong saturated air and paused near the water folly. The pond seemed noisier than usual ...

Lord, don't let it be a squirrel or deermouse in that pond, I can't post another rescue post either.

The spanish moss filtered moonlight was not enough to see what was causing the pond commotion, but it was obvious from the silvery ripples that something was goin on in the pond.

I zipped back inside for a flashlight and the Sony.

The flashlight's rude glare revealed the truth.
There was a toadapalooza going on in the goldfish pond.
As the only standing water in the surrounding area, it was in high demand by some urgent anurans.

If you recall earlier posts about the water folly, it's surrounded by a mountain of carefully arranged limestone. Last night, every other poolside rock had a singing toad.
It was extremely loud and constant.

Above, just a portion of the many toads partying in the pond last night.
I suppose I shouldn't stress too much when the current photo file pile gets low. It seems PFHQ is always willing to toss me a bone.

Speaking of that ...

I'm not bragging or anything, but Bear was simply the star of the obedience class last night. He's so smart and eager to learn ... can't you see that in his eyes?

Everything Bear and I learn at class is being taught to Gumbo at home to save some cash ($109 for 8 classes), and besides, I could hardly handle two goofy pups at a time.

We are clicker training and working on eye contact with the master and "Leave It", a command for preventing him from picking up things he's not supposed to ... like old,dead, dried up raccoon legs.
Oh, you never saw that photo?
I'll dig it up.

The point is, he did wonderful in class, and that little wet accident he had by the guppy aquariums was my fault for not running him outside immediately after an hour long class.

I'm pretty sure he's the teacher's pet.


Anonymous said...

Beauty in unexpected places, look at the golden eyes on a toad, Ma Nature put a hidden treasure on a homely face.
Caroline in South Dakota

Stacy said...

Labs do love to please. Our chocolate was voted "Most Improved" in his obedience class. A rather dubious honor but he seemed proud of it anyway.

Emily said...

I just started reading Marley and Me and it seems Marley was reincarnated as Tebow (from the little I know of Bear and Gumbo, it seems that they got some, too). It's a good thing Labs love life in general. If lab puppies weren't so eager and sweet, they'd get kicked to the curb for their destructive habits!

Emily said...

BTW - we know several of the teachers from over at Bronson High (my husband taught ag at Williston Middle for a little while). It's a great school and I'll try to send some books your way.

lesle said...

"Last night, every other poolside rock had a singing toad." FC, here for you is another English collective noun: a CROWD of toad.

The toad in your closeup seems speckled; the toads I encounter usually have brown, beige, and dark brown--almost black--symmetrical markings. I find them handsome animals.

I have seen them not just hop, but crawl on all four legs; and, lordy, a loonng tongue that catches flying insects, so fast you hardly see it.

threecollie said...

Yay for the star of the class! We take all our pups here at Northview. It is just so much fun. I don't blame you for doing one at home though. Prices sure have gone up since Nick and Sadie, the last pups we trained, went to class. Nick by the way, is the most biddable dog I have ever tell him to lie down and he hits the floor...while Sadie thumbs her nose at commands and chases cows and kills chickens. The difference I guess between border collies and hound dogs from the pound.

Miz S said...

I wonder if I have toads in my pond that I don't know about. I'm going to go out there with a flashlight tonight.

Cathy S. said...

In my former life, BC (before children), I was a dog obedience trainer. Have the certification to prove it. While I think it is great that you are going to school with Bear and applying the lessons to Gumbo, do not ignore one of the most important parts of dog school-socialization. Make sure you take Gumbo out with you to parks, stores, etc. so that he also gets to meet lots of strangers (besides those at the vet clinic who are now his best friends). You don't want him timid though I suppose for a lab, that is next to impossible!

Floridacracker said...

I agree about those eyes. Especially the spadefoot toads. Amazing.

Congrats! My best dog ever, Ranger, was a choc lab.

Small world!
Thank you for that, old used books are fine. We just want lots of reading opportunities at their fingertips.
I think you are right about cuteness being the salvation of many a lab pup.

A crowd of toads it is! I love these collective nouns.

They are all unique that's for sure. Gumbo is a chicken chaser and Bear is barely interested unless it's chicken on a plate.

Miz S,
No telling what you'll find. Look for sparkling green wolf spider eyes in your lawn.

Cathy S,
Very good point and one I have made around here too. Gumbo seems to have an outgoing personality ... perhaps due to all the spoiling during his travails.

Doug Taron said...

Great toad pics. Ah, the joys of amplexus. Our fireflies are just starting to appear.

jojo said...

OH MY again i leave for a day or two and i miss all the action. Those toads are awesome. but your post previously was STELLAR. what do you mean you worry about what to post next its never ending....

And as always can relate. I spent all night last night sorting out pics of a spidey i had in my porch room. Of course it turned out to be a wolf spidey too. Did you know they are venomous? i thought they were pretty much harmless. But, unlike you, i didn't save him once my new kitten wanted to make him a plaything... :( i'm terrible. i know.!!

Amazing pictures you got of mom and babies.

kathy a. said...

you think the chicken chaser doesn't need professional help? oh, yeah -- you are in love and said pup is a lab.

our lab mix has needed a good obedience class since she joined the family some years back, but my besotted husband thinks everything she does is cute. hmph.

no, it's not my job. i do cats.

Dr. Know said...

First year of the pond here, it filled with frogs and toads from all over. The croaking and singing and peeping was deafening. The water was thick with jelly. Later years not so much. Seems as though new watery addresses in the area recieve great attention from amphibians, but not so much after a few full time residents move in.

Enjoy the animals, regardless.

Dr. Know said...

Oh, yeah. Nice hairstreak photo replacing the 'gators. Have only seen a half dozen lepidoptera all year, even with the addition of a large natural area replete with butterfly attracting flowers and native host plants. It's becoming a death camp around here.

Anonymous said...

Been getting some good shots of toads and tree frogs up here, even caught one of a young bullfrog sitting on the moss. The tree frogs are my favorites with all their different camouflages. Bear looks like a cute one. They are awfully darn smart.
Bro J

billg8tr said...

Hey FC,
It seems to me that I remember something about getting puppies for Junior. I don't see a lot of Junior activity with those puppies. I think maybe someone else is a wee bit attached. I could be mistaken since the only method of judging I have is the number of pictures I see. Enjoy your obedience training.

amarkonmywall said...

I completely turned a blind eye to your wolf spider- I intensely dislike spiders and after this specific arachnid (or her sister) bit me in Belize a few years back, leaving a wound that festered for weeks I wanted no part of it.

It's the year of the amphibian! You would enjoy the collection we have right now- large and colorful- to educate people on how environmental hazards endanger us all. I was in the reptile house at night once last week for a special event and the whole place as croaking and singing. I love your ordinary pond frogs here.

Bear has good eye contact. I'm certain he's the teacher's pet.

Anonymous said...

Amplexus is super-sexxy. Thanks, Fc, for the amphibiously prurient material. The lima-bean sized part of my brain that still remembers this is all fired up now. HAWT.

Anonymous said...

And dang you Doug for dropping the 5 cent word before I did in the comments section.

Floridacracker said...

Doug and Thingfish,
Some were still amplexussing the next morning.

Thanks! Stellar! Whoohooo!
I view all spiders as venemous which keeps my parts away from their parts.

Kathy A,
Just call me besotted.

Sorry about your bfly shortage. They seem abundant out here beyond mosquito control.

No website to show these off?

It has been that way a bit as he's been off at Basketball camp this week and off again this weekend for the Billy Donovan camp.
Meanwhile, I bond ...

I try and avoid that sort of thing by running away from arachnids.
Bear does look you right in the eye as does the Gumbo.