When I step into the horse's stall, I keep my eye out for Jet's Toad. This not-so-little guy spent his summer in her stall, eating bugs. And, I've been tip-toeing around, being careful not to scoop him up with the manure.
Outside the stall, near the water spigot, is Hydrant Toad. She climbs out from her gravel nest when I'm emptying and refilling water buckets.
And, in the garden, there is Mr. Toad who sits under the cucumber vine.
I've come to appreciate the toads that spend the summer in flower beds, under trees, in the garden and in the barn, gobbling up insects. A single toad can eat 10,000 over the course of summer.
They aren't as graceful as the insect-eating swallows that soar and dive over the pastures and ponds. But they are much more amenable to having their photos taken.
Like the swallows, they will disappear this fall. The swallows will be gone within the week when they start their annual trek south.
The toads, though, will stick around for another month or two. Then they will burrow underground and hibernate until spring, when the insects return again.