Down & Dirty!
In the midst of leading a hike for a group of second graders the other day, I stopped the group next to a vernal pond along the trail we were walking and began to explain to the kids about how important it was to our local amphibians. There were a couple of kids talking as I was and since this happens often, I just ignored them at first. More kids chimed in with "oh look!" and "what's that?!?!?" and pointing behind me.
I began to be aware of loud splashing sounds over my shoulder and then the trilling began......right in my ears. I turned and lo and behold a veritable toad orgy was taking place before our eyes! It was almost embarrassing. Needless to say, I abandoned my spiel and waved my hand at the frolicking amorous amphibians and said "well, that proves my point!"
I also managed to pick up a female (with attendant male clamped on to her back) and show the kids up close the eggs coming out of her. When I put the happy couple back in the pond there was one lone male sitting at the water's edge singing his heart out, still looking for a mate. The group got a great look at his throat sac & his calls were fantastic.
It is days like this that really drive home how much I enjoy my job. Every day brings a new, unique experience...sometimes big (like the aquatic body electric show), sometimes small...a new bird at the feeder, but always ever-changing.