The seasons have a way of creeping up on us and sometimes we get confused by erratic weather patterns and plant behaviour which would suggest we’re in a different season to the one we’re actually in!
Despite this, there are some consistent and predictable markers upon which we can reliably be informed. One such indicator is our pond which, in March, is dutifully displaying several rich masses of toad spawn which float on the water forming large protective clumps. It’s quite a sight to behold.
But what I wasn’t expecting was to see fecundity in action – two toads ‘at it’ – for hours; I kept checking…They held each other in a blissful embrace as they floated from one end of the pool to the other, followed by another toad which, quite frankly, I found a bit odd. Apparently male toads compete to mate with the females…
See the video clip where you can witness a rare sight:
According to the RSPB, during mating, the male toad fertilises the strands of eggs as she’s laying them on the water amongst the weeds; a really sophisticated way of reproducing!
Some toadlet facts: apparently tadpoles hatch after about 10 days and change into toadlets that live over two to three months. Common toads can live up to around 10-12 years which assumes that only a tiny proportion survive beyond the 3 allotted months. I remember sitting by the side of the pond last year, watching the many hundreds of toadlets in the pond as they darted about, providing great entertainment as well as wonderful distraction from more mundane chores. I bathed in the wonderment of nature and I mourned them when they were gone.
Reproduction, life and new beginnings followed by life for those that survived and death for the least strong; the natural order of the chaos of life.
Nature reminds us that life is both powerful beyond measure as well as fragile. As humans, we try to navigate this paradox, believing ourselves to be indestructible and in control of the uncontrollable as well as inhabiting a feeling body which is designed to feel pain and vulnerability…Nature finds its balance at times brutally and seemingly without heart yet it is almost poetic in its injustice; mother earth insists on birth, growth, death, rebirth, food, minerals and oxygen. And yet we humans, who are housed in this system of polarities, struggle to find balance and order out of chaos.
I love Balzac’s quote, ‘A careful observation of Nature will disclose pleasantries of superb irony. She has for instance placed toads close to flowers’. Polarities. And Shakespeare: ‘sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head’.
Here’s a quote from Kenneth Grahame’s much-loved Wind in the Willows; after all, a tale about toads wouldn’t be a tale at all without Mr Toad’s appearance:
‘Toad talked big about all he was going to do in the days to come, while stars grew fuller and larger all around them, and a yellow moon, appearing suddenly and silently from nowhere in particular, came to keep them company and listen to their talk’. (Ch 2)
So tell me, which aspects of this blog speak to you? Is your life out of kilter, not in balance or in tune with Nature? Where are the polarities in your life?
I’d love to hear your thoughts so please leave a comment in the comments box below and/or head on over to my Facebook Group ‘Personal Growth Hub’ and comment on there. This is a space for talking about a variety of life-related issues where there are videos, latest updates, freebies, photos, humour, love and insights…
I would love to connect with you!
With my love and curiosity about your personal growth
I would love to get to know you more, connect with me here.