American Toad Calling, Bull Run Regional Park, Virginia

During a trip last week to Bull Run Regional Park, I heard many calls coming from the surrounding swamps next to the trail. They seemed to come from some sort frog or toad, but I could not get a clear view of any of the organisms in question. Then, while crossing a small boardwalk on my way back to the car, I spotted a group of American Toads in a small pool attempting to mate with one another. There was a "ball" of 4 or 5 toads jumping on top of each other and swimming around in the heat of courtship. I immediately hopped down into the stagnant, muddy waters and began photographing them. I obtained images of two toads in amplexus (mating), and also got images of males calling on their own. While it was a muddy experience that no doubt ruined and smelled up my shoes, I'm glad I was able to experience this short-lived event, and am certainly happy with the photographs I got.

American Toad Calling, Bull Run Regional Park, Virginia, United States.