I do not know why but we have always taken the presence of a toad on the farm as a sign of good luck. Yesterday I crossed paths with this handsome specimen just outside the chicken house. What’, The Doorway to Signs and Symbolic Meanings, suggests that this presence may indicate that now is a time to find opportunity in transition. In some cultures the primary symbolic meaning of the frog or toad is fertility and abundance. As biologists, I believe that our appreciation for toads derives from their status as good indicators of environmental quality. Toads are amphibians and as such are highly dependent upon both their aquatic and their terrestrial environments. Also these animals have skin which is highly permeable and which allows the rapid uptake and concentration of environmental toxins. As the Canary in the Coal Mine the toad is a constant biological monitor of our local environment. If something were amiss with either our water, woods, or wetlands our toad population would be affected. Because we are particularly aware of the presence of these beautiful creatures we would know of any changes in their population. How true then the adage that says that … a world safe for frogs and toads is a world that is safe for all of us.

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