Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Ol’ Blue Eyes is Back


There is much activity in the pond, the mild weather has brought a second wave of mating amphibians.

Now it’s taken me a while to work this out, but I think this is a toad

Old Blue Eyes

and these are frogs, who spawned back in March


The frog spawn has hatched and its a seething mass of tadpoles


Toads (and please correct me if I’ve mistaken their identity) don’t seem to have a lot of road sense.


Which is why Mr Uphilldowndale and I were shifting a bucket full of toads off the drive at 03:30 the other morning so we could get the car on the road without squashing any. The things we do.


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

12 thoughts on “Ol’ Blue Eyes is Back

  1. How nice of you to move the frogs. We had about 100 worms on our driveway the other day in the rain. I have no idea why they do that – we took some leaves and moved as many as we could back to the grass – silly worms.

  2. I’ve been feeling a little odd about scooping up wolf spiders in a pair of Dixie cups, depositing them outside and wishing them well in their future endeavors. Now I see that this is perfectly reasonable behavior. It’s good to have a circle of acquaintances with similar views.

  3. Rather you than me doing that, especially at 03.30! xx

  4. Well done for helping the toads, I think there are several places where there are annual ‘toad crossings’ where there are busy roads, the toads seem to have a set route to their ancestral spawning places. Are the eyes really blue or is it just a freflection of the light? I’ve never thought of toads having blue eyes.

  5. Toads have dry, bumpy skin and shorter, less powerful hind legs. They don’t need to be near water and have wider bodies. And they hop, instead of jump. (I Googled.) When my family lived in Nebraska, we had toads that lived by our home. When my boys were little, they had fun playing with them for hours. So sweet of you to move them off your driveway before backing out!

  6. Top one looks very Toady. Bottom one looks Froggy.
    In certain parts of the country you get Frog migrations. Literally thousands of frogs decide to get together and travel from one boggy place to another over considerable distances. Sometimes evidence of these events are quite obvious, usually a short stretch of road with lots of squashed amphibians. Near:- http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/329068 (Hope the link works) This event happened every 5 years or so. Absolutely bizarre.

  7. I once took part in a toad patrol in Maidenhead. Every spring when the toads were heading for their spawning ponds (often in mid-mate) they’d all stream across the road and get squashed in their hundreds. So toad patrol was set up and the first warm damp spring evening of the year we’d all go out with buckets and ferry them across the road. Except it turns out I’m too squeamish to pick up toads even in a good cause so I was given a bucket and a shovel and the task of scooping up and counting the squashed ones…

    • We built the pond 7 years ago, and the number of toads seems to be increasing year on year.
      I think the blue eyes is a reflection, they look rather golden in the daylight. disgrunteld, few things phase my mum, but she is terrified of frogs and toads.

  8. We have a forman at work who is terrified of toads. He is 6ft 5 and a big lad but if he sees one he screams in terror.
    Yes Uphill,we get more toads each year as well. Our pond is only small, say about 10ft across, 4 ft deep but we get inundated with them.
    Everyone should have a pond.

  9. Hmm. Well, perhaps everyone should have a pond except that 6ft 5 foreman. He should have a nice lake stocked with muskies. I believe muskies eat toads.

  10. So now I can tell the difference – frogs are the cute ones! Like cartoon versions of toads.

    Why no picture of the bucketfull of toads? And where on earth were you going at that time of morning anyway? I expect a full photo story of the trip next time.

  11. Wish i could get pictures as good as yours, you have a real talent

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