While enjoying the natural beauty around my cabin in the Ouachita National Forest of Arkansas, I was delighted to come across a tiny Dwarf American Toad. As an avid nature photographer, I always keep my camera close by to capture special moments like this one.
Crouching low to the ground, I quickly grabbed my Fujifilm X-T3 camera, equipped with a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L lens and Fringer adapter. With the toad just inches away, I adjusted my settings to f/8 aperture, 1/1600 shutter speed, and 800 ISO. At 400mm focal length, I was able to fill the frame with this little amphibian.
After capturing a few shots, I took some time to observe and appreciate this special encounter. Dwarf American Toads are tiny – about a third the size of their American Toad cousins, averaging only 2 inches long. Their call is also distinct, with a slightly higher pitch trill.
As a threatened species facing habitat loss and disease, seeing this Dwarf American Toad up close was an important reminder to protect at-risk amphibians. I feel grateful to have this cabin overlooking the forest, where I can quietly observe wildlife and hopefully capture meaningful images to share with others. Moments like this remind me of nature’s grandeur and the need to preserve vulnerable species.