Toad BOOK LOOK #14: Life Cycle + The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated)

Toad Life Cycle

Beautiful Drawings in Black & White

Toad Life Cycle by S.H. Gage – Cornell Nature Study Leaflet 1904

Toad Life Cycle Circular by S.H. Gage – Cornell Nature Study Leaflet 1904


P.L.A.Y. Adventure Time 

These simplistic and beautiful drawings of “Old Mr. Toad” are from over 100 years ago and are still just as accurate today.

Time to take a moment and pull out your own nature journal and sketch your observations of toads and tadpoles.

Use a local habitat or the photos and videos provided on P.L.A.Y. and P.L.A.Y. on Pinterest as great ways to engage with this topic year round.


 ~ ~ ~ BOOK LOOK ~ ~ ~


The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated):

A P.L.A.Y. Nature Activity Story Book 

by Karen L. Willard

Join Peter Rabbit and friends on adventures discovering all about Old Mr. Toad and his days spent in and out of the water!

See sample story pages + purchase HERE

More Tadpoles + Toads in motion at PINTEREST HERE.

Toad BOOK LOOK #13: Solo Song + The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated)

What is this female toad listening for?

Visit Pinterest to see this video of a female toad listening to mating calls in the river.


Why does the male toads throat bubble or bulge out as he sings his solo song?

Visit PINTEREST to see a video of a male toad’s mating song down at the river.


P.L.A.Y. Adventure Time 

  • Time to dig deeper into the questions above and get curious and generate some thoughts of your own. Talk with your family and make a list of observations.
  • Watch the videos together and make note of more details you can extract. What more would you like to know? Make a list.

 ~ ~ ~ BOOK LOOK ~ ~ ~


The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated):

A P.L.A.Y. Nature Activity Story Book 

by Karen L. Willard

Join Peter Rabbit and friends on adventures discovering all about Old Mr. Toad and his days spent in and out of the water!

See sample story pages + purchase HERE

More Tadpoles + Toads in motion at PINTEREST HERE.

Toad BOOK LOOK #12: Curious Questions + The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated)

 Why is the female carrying the male to the water vs. meeting in the water to mate?

Most of the pairs of mating toads that I observed down at the river’s edge were all in the water. One day this pair of toads hopped by on the sandy beach and I couldn’t help wonder why she was carrying him across the land which is much heavier than if she just carried him in the water.

 Visit PINTEREST to see a video of these two toads sitting perfectly still without even blinking as the chorus of toads swells all around them at the river’s edge.

This pair of toads, male on top and female on the bottom, are using the buoyancy factor of the water for the female to easily navigate while the male holds on.


P.L.A.Y. Adventure Time 

What does it feel like to carry someone on your back on land and then to try carrying that same person on your back in water?

This summer, safely so as not to injure you or your loved one, select someone smaller than you and try this experiment.

It provides appreciation for how animals have to navigate naturally and the strength it takes both in and out of the water!


 ~ ~ ~ BOOK LOOK ~ ~ ~


The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated):

A P.L.A.Y. Nature Activity Story Book 

by Karen L. Willard

Join Peter Rabbit and friends on adventures discovering all about Old Mr. Toad and his days spent in and out of the water!

See sample story pages + purchase HERE

More Tadpoles + Toads in motion at PINTEREST HERE.

Toad BOOK LOOK #11: WARNING Graphic Photos + The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated)

WARNING: Graphic Biology PHOTOS

Why would a butterfly feed on a dead toad?

My resident butterfly expert (aka my daughter) was actually able to quickly answer this question when I returned from my walk and shared this photo and video with her. I’ll let you uncover the mystery – (video HERE on Pinterest).

Why would females have their heads bit off and not the males?

I’ve been pondering this question since late spring when the toads were mating and I discovered a total of 10 females over 2 weeks time with their heads bitten off. Last year I only discovered one female like this.

So far the mystery remains as all I have found in my search is that some animals bite off the heads and eat the rest of the toad (not in this case) and the head is very toxic.


P.L.A.Y. Adventure Time


  • Sometimes we come upon unexpected things out in nature and they may be challenging to look at for some or fascinating to others. As a family it is important to honor everyone’s P.L.A.Y. time and respect how each person needs to proceed be it curiosity from afar or curiosity close-up. Communicating our needs, at all ages and stages, is key as we explore the great outdoors and the nature of all things.
  • Do you have any recent mysteries that you’ve seen outdoors? Do you have a bunch of unanswered questions? Capture them in a notebook and keep your eyes open and keep searching for answers. You’ll be surprised where the mysteries take you!

 ~ ~ ~ BOOK LOOK ~ ~ ~


The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated):

A P.L.A.Y. Nature Activity Story Book 

by Karen L. Willard

Join Peter Rabbit and friends on adventures discovering all about Old Mr. Toad and his days spent in and out of the water!

See sample story pages + purchase HERE

More Tadpoles + Toads in motion at PINTEREST HERE.

Toad BOOK LOOK #8 – Photos + Activities – The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated)

Where does toad spend most of his days?

Look closely, he is camouflaged in the Green Forest under the shadows of the trees and hiding amongst the leaf litter.

Can you see me better now?!?

P.L.A.Y. Adventure Time 

  • Walk in the woods with a watchful eye seeing what lies amongst the leaf litter. Who else is hiding out down low along the ground in toad’s neck-of-the-woods?
  • What colors often create a camouflage effect or help the animals and critters of the woods blend in?
  • To read more about the colors of Old Mr.Toad’s “coat” get a copy of the book below!

 ~ ~ ~ BOOK LOOK ~ ~ ~


The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated):

A P.L.A.Y. Nature Activity Story Book 

by Karen L. Willard

Join Peter Rabbit and friends on adventures discovering all about Old Mr. Toad and his days spent in and out of the water!

See sample story pages + purchase HERE

More Tadpoles + Toads in motion at PINTEREST HERE.

Toad BOOK LOOK #6: Tons of Tadpoles + The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated)

” A Curious Capkin caught in the middle of tons of tadpoles! “

These toad tadpoles are between 2-3 weeks old now and are very active at the river’s edge.

To see them in action visit PINTEREST video HERE.

Tadpoles gathering in large busy clusters at the river’s edge as the water level recedes a bit from lack of rain storms.


 ~ ~ ~ BOOK LOOK ~ ~ ~


The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated):

A P.L.A.Y. Nature Activity Story Book 

by Karen L. Willard

Join Peter Rabbit and friends on adventures discovering all about Old Mr. Toad and his days spent in and out of the water!

See sample story pages + purchase HERE

More Tadpoles + Toads in motion at PINTEREST HERE.

Toad BOOK LOOK #5: Tadpoles Hatching + The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated)

HATCHING

“As the embryos in the egg strands elongate they move more vigorously till on the second or third day they wriggle out of the jelly string. This is the hatching and they are now free in the water and can swim about. Initially they hang themselves up on the old egg string by means of a peculiar v-shaped organ on their heads.” ~ S.H. Gage, Life History of the Toad, Cornell Nature Study Leaflet, 1904

Have you ever seen a tiny “seedling” sized tadpole?

“At first the little tadpoles remain under water all the time and breathe the air dissolved in the water, just as a fish does. As they grow larger and larger, they rush up to the surface once in awhile and then dive down again, as if their lives depended on it. The older they grow the oftener they come to the surface. This is the tadpole getting ready to breathe the free air above the water when it turns into a toad and lives on the land.” ~ S.H. Gage, Life History of the Toad, Cornell Nature Study Leaflet, 1904

This seedling size tadpole was scooped up with a handful of water and only held for a moment to take a photo before replacing back in the water.

Watch a video of this tadpole in action HERE on PINTEREST.


 ~ ~ ~ BOOK LOOK ~ ~ ~


The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated):

A P.L.A.Y. Nature Activity Story Book 

by Karen L. Willard

Join Peter Rabbit and friends on adventures discovering all about Old Mr. Toad and his days spent in and out of the water!

See sample story pages + purchase HERE

More Tadpoles + Toads in motion at PINTEREST HERE.

Toad BOOK LOOK #2: Tadpole Habitat + The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated)

Where do you find those awesome toad egg strands?

I’ve had the most success finding toad egg strands for the past few years along the edges of our river once it becomes more shallow in mid-May and all the way through mid-June.

Often there are also side streams of water that form channels and large puddles and if the toads time it just right they can lay their egg strands, have the tadpoles hatch, and become toadlets all before the water dries up in the heat of the summer.

P.L.A.Y. Adventure – Curiosity Time – Part #1

  • Where are there toads, or frogs, in your area? How would you know?
  • Depending on the time of year you’ll need to be looking AND listening.
  • If you’re not sure, check out some resource guides for your local area and then plan a field trip to visit where toads hang out near you! You’re in for a toad-ally awesome treasure treat!

HINT: Be a patient observer and take your time looking along the water’s edge as often the toad egg strands are a bit camouflaged by the silty sand that has collected on them (unless they are freshly hatched strands!)

Where and when can you look for actual toad tadpoles?

P.L.A.Y. Adventure Time – Part #2

The tadpoles near to where I live in Massachusetts hatch in the water at the very end of May in late spring and continue to grow throughout the summer until late August when they change into toadlets and then exit the water heading for the woods as autumn approaches.

Visit this PINTEREST video HERE to see what key nature pieces need to be in place to make a suitable tadpole home (habitat) outdoors. Make a list of what you see by getting curious and asking questions:

  • Is the water moving or still?
  • What is on the bottom of the water area?
  • What is surrounding the pool of water?
  • Is it shaded or sunny?

Time to take a walk in the woods or in a local nature park on trails to see if you can spy the tadpole habitat near your home. And be sure to continue getting curious and ask even more questions:

  • What temperature is the air?
  • What temperature is the water?
  • Are the tadpoles actively swimming or sitting still?
  • What other animals are in the water? Salamanders? Snails? Small Fish?
  • Are their any bird or animal tracks near the water’s edge suggesting there are visitors?
  • What else did you observe? Record it!

 ~ ~ ~ BOOK LOOK ~ ~ ~


The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated):

A P.L.A.Y. Nature Activity Story Book 

by Karen L. Willard

Join Peter Rabbit and friends on adventures discovering all about Old Mr. Toad and his days spent in and out of the water!

See sample story pages + purchase HERE

More Tadpoles + Toads in motion at PINTEREST HERE.

New Toad-ally Awesome Series Sunday’s

The toads are calling and asking you to hop right over to this  toad-ally awesome series every Sunday!

Listen to all the male toads calling out to this female toad (lower left) down by the river on PINTEREST HERE.


 ~ ~ ~ BOOK LOOK ~ ~ ~


The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated):

A P.L.A.Y. Nature Activity Story Book 

by Karen L. Willard

Join Peter Rabbit and friends on adventures discovering all about Old Mr. Toad and his days spent in and out of the water!

See sample story pages + purchase HERE

More Tadpoles + Toads in motion at PINTEREST HERE.

New – Toad BOOK LOOK series on Sunday’s

Two Toads . . . and . . .

Three Egg Strands . . .

and tons of Tadpoles!

This is just a sample of what we’ll cover of the life cycle happening down at the water’s edge in late spring and throughout the summer here in New England.

Be sure to tune in Sunday’s for this TOADally awesome P.L.A.Y. nature adventure series throughout June, July, and August!


~ ~ ~ BOOK LOOK ~ ~ ~


The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (Annotated):

A P.L.A.Y. Nature Activity Story Book 

by Karen L. Willard

Join Peter Rabbit and friends on adventures discovering all about Old Mr. Toad and his days spent in and out of the water!

See sample story pages + purchase HERE

More Tadpoles + Toads in motion at PINTEREST HERE.