We returned to the ponds tonight hoping to see my raccoon friend again, but apparently she was out for the evening, nocturnal lass that she is. Instead, we listened to the beavers slapping their paddle tails on the water, perhaps alarmed by our presence. Each massive slap sounded as if someone had tossed a small boulder into the pond. Beavers give birth between April and June, so all the slapping might have been to warn us away from a kit-filled lodge.

After the beavers settled down, I surreptitiously followed one as it swam along near the bank, until I saw Travis coming toward me with something dark in his hands. Travis has mad spotting skills, and has been successfully and gently handling animals (particularly reptiles) since childhood. “Tree frog?” I asked. “Toad. A very calm toad,” he replied.

 

Toad of Zen

T put the toad back almost immediately, where I photographed him in the leaves, and thanked him for his time.

The ponds always show us something new.

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