29 March 2010

Toad Patrol!

Yesterday, on my morning stroll through Holyrood Park (which took place an hour later than planned, thanks to British Summer Time), I came across the Toad Patrol.
(Not shown: torches, pitchforks.)

The Toad Patrol is a weekend gathering of local children and parents who help the park rangers clear the roads before opening them in the morning.

You see, every spring, the toads around Holyrood Park leave the woods they've been hibernating in and migrate to one of the park's lochs to mate, with Dunaspsie Loch, about halfway up the hillside, being the most popular for toady trysts. So every morning, the rangers close the park roads and sweep the park, picking up any toads on the roads and dropping them in the loch.

Kids who come out to help on the weekends get a free science lesson, some exercise, and even a snack. Some might even get to touch a toad! Though I didn't see any toads out yesterday, and I don't blame them--it was very windy and pretty cold.

In any case, the Toad Patrol served as a great reminder of what a unique natural resource Holyrood Park is. The toads are only one of the unusual species inhabiting the park: so cool to have a biology lab, a geology exhibit, and a natural playground all in one, right in the middle of the city!

1 comment:

  1. Another reason to save the toads: apparently they can predict earthquakes.