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The Whitehurst Diaries: Encounter with Mrs. Eastern American Toad

She was at first the subject of cat pride dalliance; then kindly study by nature photographer, then, disconcerted by the rustling leaves, she said "Phhht!," alerting the naturalist that toads are not, as she'd supposed, a mute species
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By Sharon Whitehurst

As Jim and I finished breakfast this morning we noticed that several of our house cats were congregated at the edge of their playyard fence peering intently into the grass.

As we watched, tentative paws poked through the mesh and stirred in the drift of leaves which have already fallen from the water maple.

Always skittish about the possibility of a lurking snake, I sent Jim out to investigate.

"It's a toad, " he said, shooing the cats to the other side of their yard.I found the camera and crept along the edge of the herb garden until I spotted the toad. As I crouched in the leaves, camera on macro setting, the toad obligingly hopped closer. I took two photos then moved slightly for a different angle as the toad lurched forward.

Perhaps I disconcerted the creature by rustling the leaves, for it poked its head forward and made a sudden sound, "Phhhtt!" A sound between a hiss and a spit. I had supposed toads to be mute!

I think this is the Eastern American Toad and likely a female. -Sharon Whitehurst

This story was posted on 2011-08-22 21:43:23
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Whitehurst Diaries: Toad

2011-08-22 - Old Gradyville RD, Gradyville, KY - Photo by Sharon Whitehurst.
A toad: Likely an Eastern American female toad, proved a fascinating discovery and nature study.

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