I abruptly moved to Houston, Texas in late 2013 after accepting a teaching position that required me to start in January. Unfortunately, I hadn’t done much research on the rental market (lesson learned) and took the first unit that I could find. Total mistake. I moved into a complex of drug dealers, a creepy drug user next door who lived with his mother, a prostitute, angry children who ran around the parking lot screaming, stray animals that wandered the property…and the list could go on and on and on. The upside? Toads. Countless toads. The tropical climate of eastern Texas brought some of heaviest rain that I’ve ever experienced in my life. The region’s thunderstorms were nothing short of incredible. Consequently, water collected in multiple spots near my apartment, creating a perfect environment where the toads could mate. Then, in the summer, many of them hopped around just outside of my door. Perhaps they were looking for bugs at night. Maybe some were lost. One night I took this picture. It’s my favorite from the Houston years.