Lend me your imagination for a minute or two … I have here a photograph gained at much personal risk to the intrepid photographer (that would be me). It was necessary to approach this beast so close that it may have leapt upon me at any moment, the consequences of which, I dare not imagine. Here lay a creature from the depths of Wales’ Mythology. A creature that has stirred from the heart of the mountain.
What, I hear you say could this beast be? Was it breathing fire? No, but I fear that had I dwelled any longer, I may have joined the scorched grass that surrounded its lair. Without further ado I must post a small token view of my recent encounter:
I think you can see the fiery lava within its eye, surrounding a deep blue-back pool at the eye’s centre; surely your soul could fall deep inside that eye.
Fear not, this beast did not need vanquishing by brave Knight & proud Steed. Read on to hear more and identify …
My encounter was in fact with no less than a rather nice example of the Common Toad (Bufo bufo).
Common Toad skin colouration can be quite variable; often brown but varying from brick red to olive green. Their eyes often have a beautiful coppery hue.
They are the largest of the European toads and quite commonplace in Britain. The paratoid glands (the swelling seen above & behind the eye) is oblique i.e. turns outwards. If you find a toad in Britain in which these glands run parallel to each other and the toad also has a yellow line running down its back, then you have come across the rarer Natterjack Toad.
If you’d like to see a larger picture of an immature Toad that was only a few metres from this adult then click here to visit the picture in my galleries.
Oh and no, as far as I’m aware I wasn’t at risk of being frazzled to a crisp