28 August 2007

La chasse aux crapauds

I understand that toads — crapauds — eat slugs. I don't mind having them live in the bushes and under rocks all around the house. Actually, I think they live most of the time in the underground pipes that take rainwater away from the house when it runs off the roof into the gutters. They must hide in the drainage pipes during daylight hours.

This is the first toad Callie found last night. You might
need to click the picture and enlarge it before you can
actually see it hiding under those leaves.

But these amphibians are driving Callie and us a little bit crazy. At nightfall, Callie can't wait to go outside. We want her to pee or even faire la grosse commission, but all she wants to do is hunt toads. She doesn't catch them, or hasn't yet. She hears them rustling dead leaves or the gravel as they jump around, and it is great fun for her to scare them into jumping again.

This toad might be a little hard to see against the gravel background,
but Callie could see it, even in the dark. Or maybe she was tracking it
by smell. I didn't see it until I looked at my pictures this morning.

Last night at about 10:00 I took Callie out one more time. This time I took my camera and turned on the flash. You see some of the results here. I couldn't see the toads at all when we were out there, so I was shooting pictures by sound, just following the dog's nose, as it were.

Finally, a toad on a green background

So the toads are real. I couldn't see them, but like Callie, I could hear them jumping around, rustling the leaves and the gravel. I'm surprised by the pictures, and very pleased with the sharpness and colors I got when I was shooting in the dark with the flash.

The sunsets around here are very real too. Here's the August 26 version.

Sunset at La Renaudière, 26 August 2007

The sunset panorama is actually two photos that I "stitched" together using software. It did this one in Photoshop Elements. Again, click the picture to enlarge it for the full effect.


  1. Wow, you were lucky that that toad jumped on a leaf. They are terribly difficult to see.
    That sunset panorama is just wonderful!

  2. Wow! That sunset is breathtaking.

  3. aren't dogs amazing? I live in the city but have skunks racoons possems,(sp?) chipmunks, rats, mice, that pass through my back
    patio and tonight Pastis got sprayed by a skunk so we are uo later than usual as he had to have a bath and I left bowls of coffee beans and others of vinegar toabsorb that horrible smell.
    Bring on your toads, your frogs to me :)


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