we have been repairing our dock all week. it’s very long. thus a whole week. but it also means we have spent lots of time ankle deep at the water’s edge. we’ve gotten to witness some memorable sights: a bald eagle plucking a live northern pike from the water, and a whole flock of arctic terns recklessly dive bombing minnows in the shallows. the most spectacular sight however came today in a shallow pool hidden in the reeds where hundreds of american toads were singing and mating. the males sang with their throats inflated like balloons, the ladies responded, some chasing ensued, and soon enough they were locked in an underwater embrace. the male appears to squeeze a ribbon of eggs out of the female, and i assume fertilizes them on the way out. eventually the pool is filled with these polka-dotted ribbons floating in the water. some of them several feet long.
american toad egg skein
turtle lake, minnesota