Wednesday, April 17, 2013

OHC - Toads

It certainly has been a while since we did an Outdoor Hour Challenge post. As we have been adjusting to the changes we have made in our homeschool, we have had to really just concentrate on the bare bones of things - all else has fallen by the wayside. But with the summer term upon us and two months of adjustments under our belts, we are finally ready to Charlotte Masonify our new A.C.E homeschool :o). First thing back is of course our Nature Study time. We have so missed this - although I have to say that the freezing weather we have had over the past two months has kept us happily indoors. Now that spring has finally decided to join us, so has the urge to get back out in nature!
At the beginning of April I looked at the newsletter and thought - oh no! It feels like we are still in the middle of winter - there sure aren't going to be any amphibians or reptiles out and about. Fortunately - when spring 'springs' - she does it all at once :o).

Monday was our first day back at 'school' after the Easter break. As we sat down in the conservatory to read the Word of God together, we were interrupted by Miss V-L squealing that Cleo (the cat) was trying to catch something. So we all dashed out to rescue the poor little critter, which turned out to be....

a toad! I guess this month our OHC found us! While holding her and observing her (we think it's a her - males are quite a bit smaller than females) I conducted our indoor time. We:

* Read a delightful and informative extract from The Handbook of Nature Study pp 170-174
* Looked up here to try and find out a bit more about our critter. She is a Common Toad - Latin name: Bufo Bufo)

We were interested to learn:
*Toads walk (we witnessed this - it's rather funny to watch), frogs hop
*Toads dig holes in which to hibernate
*Toads are nocturnal
*Their skin does not dry out as easily as a frogs, subsequently they can be found quite a distance from water
*Toads return to their place of birth in order to mate and lay their own eggs
*Toad spawn is laid in long strings which drop down to the bottom of the pond or are attached to water weeds - unlike frogs which lay their spawn in clumps that float on top of the water
*Toads secrete a rather nasty substance from the 'warts' (which are actually glands) when it feels threatened thus protecting it from most - although not all- predators.

When our toad started trying to climb out of it's container, we thought it was time to take it down to the lake and release it thus protecting it from the cat.

As we walked down to the lake, our nature study when from good to great! We came across numerous frogs making their way down to the lake, we thought that a sign saying, 'Watch Your Step!' would be appropriate!
Upon arriving at the waters edge, we were delighted to spot frog spawn.

We will create a tadpole aquarium later on in the week following the instructions from The Handbook 
pp 175 and come back to collect some eggs.

We released our toad and she happily made her way into the rushes...

What a lovely way to get back into our Nature Studies :o) 


  1. Just found your blog and am enjoying the visit! Have a wonderful week!

    1. Thanks for visiting Wendy. I look forward to popping over to visit you :o) Hope you have a great week too.

  2. Great to see you back on your nature studies - have missed your nature study blogs

  3. Amazing entry!!! I love all of your images and it looks you were able to observe a lot of great things. Thanks for sharing your entry with the OHC Carnival.


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