Eastern American Toad
Eastern American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)
While performing forestry work at a job-site in Layhill, Montgomery County, Maryland, I observed an Eastern American Toad in the forested Northwest Branch floodplain.
The toad allowed me to get quite close for some candid photographs. Toads have some rather variable colors, especially females, and this particular toad had unique bronze-brown and green hues that made him/her look quite striking, as if at peak breeding color and looking for some mating action.
This toad is known to be somewhat lackadaisical, laid-back or lethargic, having a casual hop-walk. When threatened, rather than run for it, they will release/secrete a poison called bufotoxin (Bufo is the former Latin name for this species), causing any predator to drop the toad from its mouth.
I also saw many spring beauty just beginning to flower, skunk cabbage leafing-out, and this one, single bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), just unfurling.
Beautiful afternoon in the field.