Toadlets at Duffins Creek: August 2020

As a child, I loved catching frogs and toads.

American Toad

American toad eggs hatch in a few days to a few weeks and the tadpole stage lasts 50-65 days. Emerging toadlets are among the smallest newly transformed amphibians and soon disperse into the surrounding habitat.

Here is how small they can be:

American Toad (top right)
American Toad

Toads eat insects and small soil creatures such as worms and slugs.

American Toad
American Toad
American Toad

American Toads hibernate on land and burrow beneath the frost line in the soil.

American Toad

These insects, Bronzed Tiger Beetles, were very busy along the small beaches:

Bronzed Tiger Beetle
Bronzed Tiger Beetle
Bronzed Tiger Beetle
Bronzed Tiger Beetle
Bronzed Tiger Beetle
Bronzed Tiger Beetle
Bronzed Tiger Beetle

Thanks to Ken Sproule for assistance in insect identification.

Other flyers:

Mourning Dove
Carolina Grasshopper
Asian Beetles
Red Soldier Beetle on Queen-Anne’s-lace
Yellow-collared Scape moth
American Goldfinch (male)


Amber Snail
Amber Snail

and some playful dogs:

I had intended to explore the southernmost section of the Seaton Trail but, instead, found a lovely meadow trail leading to Duffins Creek:


Some botany:

Crown Vetch (Securigera varia)
Panicled Tick-trefoil (Desmodium paniculatum)
Panicled Tick-trefoil (Desmodium paniculatum)
Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)
Wild-bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
Viper’s Bugloss (Echium vulgare)
Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata)
Late Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea) despite the name, this is one of the earliest goldenrods to flower.
Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea stoebe)
Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea stoebe)
Evening-primrose (Oenothera)
Autumn-olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)
Highbush-cranberry (Viburnum opulus)
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
Birdfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatis)
Common Barberry (Berberis vulgaris)
Riverbank Grape (Vitis riparia)
Heal-all (Prunella vulgaris)
Large Water Plantain (Alisma triviale)
Large Water Plantain (Alisma triviale)
Joe-pye-weed (Eutrochium maculatum)
Alternate-leaved Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)
Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis)


Between the dusk of a summer night
And the dawn of a summer day,
We caught at a mood as it passed in flight,
And we bade it stoop and stay.                      – William Ernest Henley (1849–1903)

Miles Hearn

2 thoughts on “Toadlets at Duffins Creek: August 2020

  1. rosemarie fischer

    Thanks Miles for the Creepy Crawlies……I have a toad living in my garden! sometimes he or she comes up the front step to sun himself! I ‘pet’ him and feel the dry,rough skin,so neat! I call this critter TOADY…goes to sleep about 9pm,under the stairs. Sometimes I don’t see the critter for weeks then for 2 or 3 days in a row. Find it very interesting and wish I would know more about his ‘lifestyle’…….

  2. Lisa Volkov

    Creatures great and small–I sure enjoyed them all! Beautiful plants, beautiful place. Thank you, Miles!


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