Thursday, July 30, 2015

Why did the toad cross the road?

Learn why toads cross the road and listen for their strange calls. Walks will be held rain or shine from 6 to 7 p.m. this Friday, Saturday and April 2-3 and 9.

Why did the toad cross the road?


The abrupt change in the weather that melted lingering snowbanks and burst the forsythia into bloom also rekindled the romantic impulses of Roxborough's famed toads, 600 of whom made a surprise migratory appearance last Sunday night. You may recall that the toads (and some frogs, too) converge on the old reservoir in Upper Roxborough to mate and lay eggs each spring.

Unfortunately, they have to cross a lot of busy roads to get there, and lots don't make it. In recent years, a volunteer force organized by Lisa Levinson has come out to monitor roadways on nights when the toads are marching.

Though it's hard to anticipate (as Sunday's early showing demonstrates), experts have predicted the toad migration to run from March 26 to April 16, during which time roads will be blockaded and cars detoured around streets bordering the reservoirs, which are off Ridge Avenue between Port Royal and Summit streets.

You can sign up for shifts at Take it from us - it's a lot of fun walking along quiet, wooded roads in the dark, looking for toads and helping them get to safety. Really. (Be sure to bring a flashlight, sturdy shoes and rain-worthy clothing.)

Watch for other toad migrations in the Philly area. Sightings have been reported on Wise’s Mill Road, Route 23 through Valley Forge Park, and the on ramp to 76W from Belmont Ave./Green Lane. Please drive slowly and carefully on rainy spring nights near parks and waterways.

Want to learn more? Join our community fundraiser to help purchase signs & supplies for the toad migration. Meet others who care about toads and local wildlife! Vegan refreshments will be served. It's 6 to 8 p.m. this Sunday (March 28), at Worldwide Aquarium & Pet Supplies, 7043 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia.

Also new this year are family toad walks around the reservoir led by experienced naturalists from Fairmount Park and the Schuylkill Center. Learn why toads cross the road and listen for their strange calls. Walks will be held rain or shine from 6 to 7 p.m. this Friday, Saturday and April 2-3 and 9.

Meet at the corner of Lare Street & Port Royal Roads (near Ridge & Hagy’s Mill). Park on Ridge or at the ballfield on Port Royal. Remember to drive carefully and watch out for toads!

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Earth to Philly is a weblog focusing on earth-conscious technology, trends and ideas, from a Daily News perspective. We look at the "green" aspects of your home, business, food, transportation, style, policy, gadgets and artwork. If you have a Philly-related story, Click here to let us know about it!

The experts at Philadelphia's Energy Coordinating Agency answer your energy questions in our regular feature Stay Warm, Stay Green. Send in your question or questions to

Look for Jenice Armstrong to supply tips on green living as well as occasional columns on the subject of Green. She also blogs at Hey Jen.

Becky Batcha stays tuned for the here-and-now practical side of conservation, alternative energy, organic foods, etc. - stuff you can do at home now. Plus odds and ends.

Laurie Conrad recycles from her ever-growing e-mailbag to pass along the latest travel deals, fashion statements, household strategies, gadgets, cool local events and other nuggets of interest to those who appreciate a clean, green world.

Vance Lehmkuhl looks at topics like eco-conscious eating, public transportation and fuel-efficient driving from his perspective as a vegetarian, a daily SEPTA bus rider and a hybrid driver, as well as noting the occasional wacky trend or product. Contact Vance with your 'green' news.

Ronnie Polaneczky sees the green movement through the eyes of her 12-year-old daughter, who calls her on every scrap of paper or glass bottle that Ronnie neglects to toss into the house recycling bins. Ronnie will blog about new or unexpected ways to go green. She also blogs at So, What Happened Was...

Sandra Shea and the DN editorial board opine on any green-related legislation or policy. And we'll pass along some of the opeds on the subject that people send us.

Jonathan Takiff will be blogging mainly about consumer electronics - those things that we love to use and that suck too much energy. He'll spotlight green-conscious gizmos made in a responsible fashion, both in terms of materials used and the energy it takes to run them.

Signe Wilkinson draws the comic strip Family Tree, which follows the Tree family as they try to live green in the face of nattering neighbors, plastic-wrapped consumer products, and the primal teenage urge to spend vast quantities of money on hair care products of dubious organic quality.

In addition to these updates from our newsroom bloggers, watch for an occasional feature, Dumpster Diver Dispatches, from Philadelphia's original "green" community of artists, the Dumpster Divers. You'll learn about creative ways to reuse and recycle while you reduce, and about the artists who are making little masterpieces from what others throw out.

  • Dispatch #1: Margaret Giancola's rugs from plastic bags
  • Dispatch #2: Dumpster Divers in City Hall (Art in City Hall series)
  • Dispatch #3: Wild wood, New Jersey
  • Dispatch #4: Dumpster Divers award winners announced
  • Dispatch #5: From sweaters to colorful cuddling
  • Dispatch #6: Green artists retake South Street Sunday
  • Dispatch #7: Isaiah Zagar: He's a Magic (Gardens) Man

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