This spring, numerous toads have been seen by the pool, on the driveway, in the gardens and meadows. They have all been the Eastern American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus), as pictured here, with bulging eyes, a dry, ruddy complexion and covered in brown and golden bumps and warts.
This toad is larger and lighter in color and likely a female. She found a crevice in our walkway, where she dug a hole and hides among tiny plants and seedlings, waiting for some food to fly by.
Another toad hides out during the day on the back patio near the pool. This one is much darker in complexion, smaller and probably a male.
Unlike frogs, toads can spend more time on land, although, during mating season, they can be found by water sources. This is when they get into trouble and can find their way into a pool and drown.
I'm reading a new book by Nancy Lawson, called The Humane Gardener,
where she suggests using a Frog Log: A Critter Saving Escape Ramp, which provides an angled, easily used escape route. It can be bought online, it's easy to set up and can be used not only by frogs and toads, but also by baby birds, spiders, beetles, bees, snakes, etc.
I bought 2 Frog logs and placed them next to the skimmers, upstream from the water flow. I haven't found any animals in the skimmers since.
Here is a clear explanation about the differences between frogs and toads: http://allaboutfrogs.org/weird/general/frogtoad.html
This site identifies the different frogs and toads of PA: http://www.paherps.com/herps/frogs-toads/
Nancy Lawson has a lovely and informative website: http://www.humanegardener.com/