Toad Weather written by Sandra Markle and illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez (2015)
Ally and her grandma are gloomy on this gray and wet spring day. Then, Mama comes home and hurries them both into their raincoats, boots, and umbrellas. Grandma doesn’t want to go, but Mama promises a special surprise. So off they go, into the rain. Ally notices earthworms, colorful rainbow umbrellas, and deep puddles. But none of these are the special surprise. Then around the corner, they see it. The road is closed and people are everywhere helping toads cross the street. Mama explains how the toads have woken from hibernation and need to cross the street to get to the pond on the other side so they can lay their eggs. They stay until dark carrying toads across the street until every one of them is safe. Even Grandma is happy to have been out in the rain to help the toads.
Isn’t that the coolest thing! I had never heard of this before, but it’s a real thing. In Roxborough, Pennsylvania a real toad migration happens every spring. The toads all head to the local reservoir to mate. And a few months later, the baby toads leave the reservoir to find their homes on dry land.
For a detailed explanation of the toad’s life cycle watch this youtube video from the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
And if you can’t attract real toads to your garden, maybe this little egg carton friend will help you enjoy your spring a little more. He looks more like a frog than a toad, but you can change that yourself.