I hadn’t realized there was a huge fat toad sitting beside me because his color blended in so well with the dead leaves he was sitting on. I had been kneeling at the outside edge of our mulch pile for the several minutes it took to fill a container with mulch. This toad was almost touching one of my knees, but he didn’t move until I started to stand up.
This toad’s large size was so impressive, I went back to the house to get the camera and a ruler. I was pretty sure the toad would still be close to the mulch pile when I got back… and he was. (Toads just love our mulch piles!) The toad sat calmly while I held the ruler next to him to measure his length… a whopping almost seven inches… and he posed obligingly while I took several photographs.
That first encounter was three summers ago, and this toad still lives in the areas around the mulch piles. We see him almost every time we go near there… he is easy to recognize because he is almost twice the size of any of the other toads. And although the largest toads are usually female, we think this one is a male because he does not have the rougher skin or the pointed dorsal warts that female toads typically have.
We thought such a massive toad needed a name. Old Mr. Toad… a name taken from the Thornton Burgess books… seemed like an appropriately dignified choice!