One night In May, I noticed a very loud sound from right outside our window. My husband, Dwight, has a fish pond right outside our kitchen door.
The sound was loud! So, on May 26, I whipped out my iphone and taped the noise.
You’ll hear the noise at 7 seconds into the tape, and 12 seconds, 18 seconds and 23 seconds. The sounds came from a small frog or toad. After comparing my recording to recordings of frogs/toads of Arkansas, I concluded we had a Fowler Toad, which is common in this area.
After reading more, I realized that this toad had chosen our pond as a breeding pond. He chose us! He chose our pond!
As a child, I remember we raised tadpoles once. I was excited about the chance to watch the process again, especially because my grandkids could watch this time.
The toad sang and sang for several nights. All night long, it seemed.
Then, on June 11, I took a morning walk and came back to find two Fowler toads in the pond. The girl showed up!
Fowler Toads mate in what’s called amplexus, which means the eggs are externally fertilized. The smaller male is usually on the female’s back for the duration.
Tadpoles: Day 3
We watched the pond every day and on Day 3, we found tadpoles! Dozens and dozens. Scientists report that the Fowler Toads may lay 5000-25,000 eggs at a time. But the pond had several goldfish and I knew that many of the eggs would be eaten before they could hatch.
Now, there are dozens and dozens of tadpoles.
As a person who writes science and nature books for kids, I am always conscious of the possibilities. But this isn’t a book, and may never become one. The story is too common; it’s not ground-breaking science. It’s just fun. And that’s enough.