As a good writer should, I tried hard to think of a really slick way to say this, but I struck out completely, so there’s nothing left to do but open my mouth and let it dribble out… sometimes I think about really weird stuff! For instance, if Teflon coating is non-stick, how do they get it to stay on the skillets when they make them? Or why do doctors only “practice” medicine? Or why did God name flies, “flies” when they seem to do way more walking around than they do flying? Wouldn’t a better name have been “walks” or “crawls?” And why on God’s green earth do we have mosquitoes? If there were only two of them on the Ark as there were supposed to be, wouldn’t both frogs have quickly eaten them? Maybe Noah cheated and brought more, or maybe he just lost count.
Anyway, what sent me off on this tangent was an old email I stumbled across concerning a story about Toads I did some years back, and I thought perhaps closing your eyes after reading this would help you envision spring. In the story, I mentioned a study done in Oklahoma that used the number of over-wintering cutworms consumed by toads to determine the toad’s value to agriculture in dollars and cents. In her email, the lady complained about all the toads at her home that particular year and said that if they were that valuable she would gladly give them to anyone wanting them. Rather odd I thought until I read the rest of her email. She proceeded to tell me about the enormous mess they were making that summer by leaving their droppings all over her garage floor. That I understood! I remember seeing all the little black spiral shaped droppings everywhere that year but hadn’t associated them with toads. The gist of the article was the larger-than-usual number of toads seen around our homes that year because of spring flooding. It only makes sense that a larger than usual toad population will produce …you guessed it… a larger than usual amount of toad pooo!
That fact alone seemed to be all it took to ignite my weird thought generator, and off I went. First I began thinking of contacting Mike Rowe from the Discovery Network TV show “Dirty Jobs.” On his show, Mike travels all around the country personally experiencing filthy jobs that people actually perform daily. I figured the show’s producers would kill for the positive press generated by Mike’s helping that poor lady clean this year’s massive amounts of toad pooo from her garage floor and sidewalks…………or maybe not!
Next, I stooped to trying to figure how I could have made a buck from the situation. Toad pooo is certainly the type of thing that some university somewhere can get a grant to study. I’m sure one of America’s seats of higher learning has plenty of interest as to what percentage of a toad’s diet is made up of mosquitoes, what percentage is flies, etc. With that in mind, if this sort of thing happens again, why not offer to provide them the raw material, for a nominal fee of course, from our vast supply………… or maybe not!
The big question that comes to mind is why do these amphibians that are born in creeks, rivers and swamps, and that live out their lives far from the light of day under plants and bushes in flower beds and gardens suddenly feel the need to use our sidewalks and driveways as their personal outhouses? I mean really, they have acre upon acre of yards, golf courses and pastures in which to relieve themselves, yet they choose our concrete! Maybe the feel of the nice warm concrete relaxes them to the point where they lose all muscle control, in which case it’s really not their fault at all!…I guess just more reasons to Explore Kansas Outdoors …………or maybe not!
Steve can be contacted by email at [email protected]