Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Toads and Lizards and Frogs, Oh MY!

We have a variety of reptiles and amphibians here on the farm.  When we lived in town, I don't think I ever saw a frog, but out here we see them ever so often.  Here are pictures of a couple of different varieties of frogs I've seen.

This little guy was sitting outside on our window sill one day.  I call him "camo-frog" because it sure looks like he is dressed in camouflage.  As best I can tell, this is a Gray Tree Frog, although he looks more green than gray.

This frog is quite a bit bigger than camo-frog.  I found him in a tub of water that was sitting out on our deck. He had apparently hopped in there and could not get out.  I think this one is a Southern Leopard Frog. 

Toads are much more common than frogs, but they invariably startle me every time I find one.  In the fall, they burrow into the soil to find places to hibernate and spend the winter.  Last year, I brought some pots of aloe vera inside for the winter and was trying to arrange them by a window.  I picked one up and suddenly a toad stuck his head up through the soil and looked at me.   I almost dropped the pot!  I rarely move very fast any more, but you can bet I got that pot back outside pronto!  I also recall several years ago how I dug one up while digging in my garden in the early spring.  Scared the life out of me for an instant!  Poor toad.......I'm sure it was a rude awakening for him, too.

My granddaughters are NOT afraid of toads, though, and will pick them up with their bare hands.  They found one outside under the carport one evening this summer.  Both of them had to hold the poor toad before we let it go.  Here's how brave they are.

I think this is a Great Plains Toad.
We have several types of reptiles ..... turtles, lizards and snakes to be specific.  I'm sorry that I don't have any pictures of snakes, save for the one in my blog entry of April 30, 2010 called "Yikes! Snake!".  That one is a Rough Earth Snake.  I'm not sure if it were much bigger that I could have talked myself into getting close enough to take a picture of it.  So, you'll have to be content with the following pictures of reptiles.

This is an Ornate Box Turtle.  Notice the beautiful markings on his shell.  They look like star bursts.  And, he has yellow spots on his legs and head.

Finally, I have this picture of a lizard that I found the other day.  Like the, frog above, he had fallen in a deep tub on the deck and could not get out.  That is the only way I was ever able to get a picture of him.  Most times, when I see a lizard outside, they are gone before I can blink twice.

I was not able to identify this lizard, but I love his blue tail!  I found several similar ones on the internet, but could not decide for sure what kind it was.  In fact, I was surprised at the many different varieties of frogs, toads, turtles and lizards that I found while trying to identify the animals above.  It is truly amazing the wonderful variety of creatures with which we share our world.


  1. Blue Tailed Skink

  2. (Plestiodon skiltonianus), or Western Skink! I just saw my first one yesterday, on Tuscarora mountain in south central PA! It was sunning on a rock, hiding off and on in the crevasses of the rock.