NATURE

  • THE TOAD PATROL

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Books, Conservation, Education, Nature, Religion, Uncategorized

    20150401_203535

    “Bufo Bufo” said the lusting toad
    “I want some love action, I must cross the road”
    “Bufo Bufo” said the toad, full of lust,
    “To get to the love pond, cross the road I must.”

     

    You’ve heard of the Great Migration across the plains of Africa?  Well this is a little closer to home but no less magnificent given the scale of the creatures involved.  Every year common toads come out from under the rocks, mud and compost heaps where they’ve spent the winter and take the long march to the Ancestral Pond.  It might be only up the road or across a couple of fields to you and me but then we’re not 2-3 centimetres high.

    Then a motorcar sped down the road
    Heart full of desire, out stepped the toad
    Out stepped the toad, heart full of desire,
    “Glitch” went the toad, between tarmac and tyre.

    Another toad crossing said “Oh bother and f**k it”
    If only someone had a big plastic bucket.
    If someone had a big plastic bucket
    To the pond I’d go safely, find another toad and…

    50 SHades of Toad

    Thanks to the less than wintry weather here, the toads started moving very early this spring.  January.  We saw the first squashed one in January.  As these animals are declining in numbers, our crack team of patrollers have been out every night to lift them to safety on the pond side of the road.  Some nights are just too cold and only the hardiest, lustiest toads make a move.  But other nights when the conditions are just right, warm and damp, we’ve been collecting them by the bucketful.

    And that my friend is as mad as a bucket of toads

    Ever wondered what 40 toads looks like?

     

     

     

     

    The collective noun is a ‘knot’.

    I like that.

     

    The sun is just setting, I am waiting for the last blackbird to shut up and go to sleep and then I’m off again, armed with bucket and torch to zigzag my way up and down the lane so that fewer toads look like this:20150330_203627

    And more look like this:

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    And just so’s you know: they don’t croak – frogs croak.

    Toads sing.

    Well, if your instincts promised a pond full of passion, wouldn’t you?