Best Baby Horned Toad Ever

baby horned toad

Not so obvious here, but he blended in perfectly with the mat of brown piñon needes

All right, have a look at this! Is that cool or what? The key to understanding this image would be the dried piñon (pine) needles. Some of them are longer than the baby horned toad. This guy isn’t much longer than my thumbnail. A couple centimeters, maybe. You could hide him and his sister in a thimble!

These telephoto macro shots aren’t easy. For one thing, you have to be walking along with the camera (and the heavy telephoto lens) around your neck, or else the prey escapes. For another, the depth of field is teeny-tiny on the auto setting, and there’s never time to fiddle with it. That means sharp focus is a crap shoot, so thank God for digital cameras. I took about eight shots this time, and all of them were useless except this one. Ten steps from the parking lot, he was.

Wow. Just wow.

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John Hamilton Farr lives at 7,000 feet in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore tells it, John is “a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” This JHFARR.COM site is the master writing archive. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page. For a complete list of all John’s writing, photography, NFTs, and social media links, please visit JHFARR.ART  

  • theo nelson July 28, 2013, 6:29 PM

    The miracle of life. Everytime I see a little life skittling across a floor I marvel at its existence and if it’s not detrimental to my life or the cats, I let it go its merry way. Unless you are going to eat it or it poses an immediate threat, how can you not let it go on its way?

    • JHF July 28, 2013, 6:54 PM

      I feel exactly the same way. I never kill spiders unless they’re in the bathtub. Well, flies. I will kill flies. But a chipmunk ran inside the house the other day and may still be here. I had a bead on him on the top shelf of the closet, an easy shot with my BB gun, but refused to do that. Instead, I tried to get him in a bucket. Hahaha. Have no idea where he is now.

      The interesting thing is that my reluctance to kill things—anything, really—has really grown as I’ve gotten older. I wonder what that means?

      • theo nelson July 28, 2013, 8:01 PM

        Yeah John, I confess it has been kinda the same way. For me, it all started when I was 18. I was a counselor at a summer camp. We had access to the facilities and 22 cal rimfire rifles were available to us. We went out target shooting by means of plonking anything moving that was deemed a target. I was the successful plonker. I shot a tiny little bird. I looked down at a dead little bird and something almost happened (empathy). Go another couple of weeks and I went plonking again. This time was a colony of crows. You can’t get near to crows, especially when they are tidal feeding. They even have lookouts. So I shot at a community of crows merrily eating away. It was about a 100 yards. The shot chased away the feeding group. I didn’t even know if I had hit my target. I figured I had missed. Something though, made me go look. No, I had not missed. I stared down at a seriously wounded crow. Still living. It wasn’t going to live so I had to kill it. Since that day, I have never attempted to kill anything beyond the two reasons I stated earlier. I never will. I still feel like shit remembering that crow looking at me.

  • Marti Fenton July 29, 2013, 8:04 PM

    Yes, as we get older we become more aware that other creatures have a right to be here. I would only kill an animal that was a serious threat. I do kill Black Widows when they are in the house. I love the song of crickets and allow everything to go in and out of the house even spiders who like to winter in the cracks of our adobe house. My turning point was a porcupine I shot in a tree with a bow an arrow. It didn’t kill it and my dad had to shoot it with a rifle. I wanted immediately to take back that arrow and that is the problem with shooting things. You can’t take it back.

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