A Trilling Reception

We returned to Columbia last evening, arriving just after the latest spring storm.  Stepping from my pickup, I realized that a full blown orgy was in progress.

Male American toads had staked out every pond, pool and transient wetland in the neighborhood, ready to mate with anything that moved in their small piece of heaven.  Generally successful, they will fertilize hundreds if not thousands of eggs; the small black tadpoles that hatch from those eggs will become ravenous toadlets within a few weeks, hopping into the verdant landscape, oblivious of its many dangers.

After a month in the dry air and chilly rains of Colorado, central Missouri felt like the Tropics and the frenzied trilling of toads only added to that illusion.  Cheers to the proud parents and their many offspring!