The toad you se in this top picture is not what it appears to be. Make no mistake, it is indeed a toad. It's just a very small toad. In fact, this toad is probably only the size of a small child's fingernail. If you didn't look twice, you might mistake it for an insect.
I saw several of these on the trail the other day, and I've been waiting for these creatures to come back for years. The first time I saw them they were even much smaller than this. And back then there were thousands, maybe even millions, of these micro toads roaming the trails.
This year there were only a few, but that is still enough for me to know for sure that I wasn't imagining things. I wasn't so sure a short time ago. While at another park, I saw what looked like these microscopic toads on one of the trails at the back. When I looked closer it turned out to be ugly little spiders, and there were millions swarming around me. Uughhh!!
Ever since that incident I thought maybe my long ago tiny toads were a figment of my imagination. Now I know for a fact that my little hopping toads were as real as those awful arachnids, and the toads will probably eat those sinister spiders. Let's move this on to be a little more pleasant.
Here is another of the toads I found on the trail. This one was at a completely different part of the park from the other one. This is not one of the largest parks you'll ever find, but it's big enough to give you a nice workout if you hike through it. Most normal people don't make it all the way to the back.
The point is that these toads are not just confined to one area of the park. I was finding them in every area that is dark, and at all ends of the park. At one point I thought I stepped on one and killed it or injured it badly. They are very hard to see, and it was too late for me to move my foot. I found nothing when I checked, but I agonized over this for two days!
Death is a part of nature, but I just don't want to be the one responsible. I'll eat the hamburger, I just don't want to be the one that butchers the animal to get the meat. Wait, wait! Here's another one to lighten the mood. I'll drive the car, but I don't want to be the one to build it. Ha!
Finally, the point is that I found my toads! These were some of the first great wonders of my hiking experiences. It happened long before this blog, and I've been waiting for the return ever since. This is a little incomplete since there aren't the millions I hoped for, but they do indeed exist and now I am satisfied!