Natural wonder

July 25, 2013 

SHELLEY PHILLIPS

After you get over the initial shock of something hopping under foot when you’re trying to turn on the hose, toads are kind of interesting animals. This one is a Western toad, which is native to Idaho. It lives in our backyard. It’s good at seeking out cool, damp places, which isn’t easy during summer. My wife spotted it out in the yard, and there might actually be several because we’ve encountered them for years. The big mystery is where they come from. The nearest year-round pond is about a quarter-mile away through some steep, dry hillside. According to the Idaho Digital Atlas, “Western Toads are largely terrestrial but can generally be found within a fair proximity to water. Their habitats range from mountain meadows to brushy desert flats.”

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