The soft light of one patio lamp casts a warm glow over the red brick. Now, as I sit facing east and Gus sits facing west I catch a movement out of the corner of my eye behind and to the right of Gus. The large lump leaps again and I exclaim, “Oh, Oh!” Gus looks at me wide-eyed and asks “What?”
There on the patio is another Colorado River Toad! When Gus sees it he leaps from his chair and heads for the door. We watch as it hops neatly up on the raised patio and proceeds to hop right beneath the chair Gus had been sitting in. I wonder if it is the same toad we had seen the night we first discovered them and it hadn’t gotten out after all. Whether it is or not we can’t leave it here to endanger our dog, so I grab a nearby empty flowerpot. I scoop up the toad and dump it over the wall, all the while Gus is standing close to the door, ready to beat a hasty retreat inside if warranted.
Sonoran Desert Toad beneath the grass: Photo by Kathie 7-25-08)
I run and get the flashlight and we both stand looking over the wall at the wet looking toad oozing poison from its glands. By the time I run and get the camera it had hopped beneath some desert grass that is growing prolifically in this very wet monsoon.(One happy Gus photo by Kathie 7-25-08)
We sit back down to enjoy the rest of the evening. I snap a photo of Gus sitting across the table with relief written all over his face. “You’re going to write about me, aren’t you?” he asked. “Yep.” Just then I see something moving along the top edge of the block wall we are sitting next to. I shine the flashlight on what I thought was a spider but turned out to be one of those darned crickets. “You know, toads eat crickets,” I said to Gus. “I’m not sure that’s a good trade off,” he replies as he moves his chair away from the wall. We sit in happy darkness watching the lightening flash.