Under the grey, watery skies of recent days the toads arrive. From where, we never know. We never see them arriving and we never see them go. Suddenly, they are just there. At this moment in the year. To find a mate. To procreate. To fulfil the primeval urge.
When we created this pond several years ago, how did the toads know it was there? How did they know to make use of it just the morning after it was full enough with rainwater for conditions to be right? What intrinsic communication system informed them? A mystery that I’m not really keen to unravel. A mystery I’d like to stay a mystery, just so I can marvel, year on year.
This pair, camouflaged to look like the stones they rest on. Amazing! I’m unable to get too close for fear they will hop off into the water.
Those unblinkered stares. I’m clearly disturbing their pursuits. They don’t seem bothered by the plastic ducks though.
Dive! Dive! A toad heading for the deep of the pond.
Others clamber on to the plants to await the passing of a mate.
Another toad has taken refuge far up in the overflow pipe, his voice magnified and resonating making himself sound much larger than he is.
This pair have taken themselves off not so discreetly to the side of the pond for a little private canoodling.
The ritual will last just a few days then, just as silently as they came, the toads will melt away again, leaving only their sticky trails of spawn as evidence that they had ever been there.