Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Survival of the Fittest

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

* * * *

When life gives you frogs, make biblical references to plagues.

* * * *

When life gives you toads, well, try not to step on them, lest you incur the wrath of teenaged girls.

* * * *

A few days before we arrived on Friday last, the campus of the Old Folks’ Home was transformed into a giant maternity ward.   Many little toads came forth, born into the heat of late spring in Baltimore.

A few days after the Toad Birthing, as we walked from the car to the building where Grandpa lives now, we saw movements on the sidewalk, tiny jumping things. It was all we could do to avoid stepping on them.  They were no bigger than a centimeter in diameter. 

Toad: front view
Toad: back view

I conjectured that the ones who would eventually survive would be the ones who figured out how to stay in the sidewalk cracks.  My husband said that the really smart toads were the ones we couldn’t see, because they were in the grass where nobody would step on them.  I decided to avoid walking in the grass.  Where there are toads, there may be snakes.  Maybe the toads on the sidewalk weren't so dumb after all.

Youngest and Oldest Daughter were delighted with the tiny amphibians, and dashed around trying to catch them. I was reminded of when Oldest Daughter was 8 and captured a toad and named it Genevieve and made a habitat for it in the back yard.  I hoped the girls would not try to do this in Grandma’s apartment, or at the hotel.  Son ignored them (both the girls and the amphibians).
There is a toad in there.

Before we arrived, a Great Toad Massacre had already occurred.  We imagined the carnage wrought by the Old Folks’ motorized scooters, heedlessly plowing through baby toads. 
The Killing Fields
There will be an inquiry.

After two days of Baltimore heat, we saw fewer toads.  Then there was a terrific thunderstorm.  Oh, happy toads!

The only other thing I know about these toads is that they are danged hard to take photos of.  I am not showing you my many photos of empty sidewalk.
This is a toad, not a frog.
This is a frog, not a toad.
Have you seen any interesting wildlife lately?  Do you know how to tell the difference between a frog and a toad?  I don't.

1 comment:

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

It breaks my heart when I see ALL THE FROGS on our driveway during a rainstorm. I hate driving over them. Heck, I can't even squish a WORM without feeling bad...