I have been distressed for a long time by the number of frogs or toads killed that sit or hop about on the A68 Trunk Road from Edinburgh to Newcastle when it is raining after dark. What is it about wet tarmac that they find so irresistibly attractive. I commute along this road and I see them leaping up into the headlights of oncoming cars and certain death. Some of them are quite big, 2-3 inches in body length, so quite old. What a waste of all that living just to get squished and killed in large numbers by motorists thundering past sealed in their vehicles with the lights on and wipers waving and spray spattering out from the wheels. I have reached the point where I slow right down and swerve to avoid froggy shapes in the road that half the time turn out to be fallen leaves, putting myself and other drivers at risk. I see dead frogs squished on the road all the time by cars that have preceded me.
On Monday 30th August, between 8.30pm and 11pm I was driving to work. It was dark and rainy. I stopped and parked just before one very attractive toad, and took it’s photo and filmed it and watched as, just like all the rest, it determinedly crawled out into the middle of the road and got knocked aside and killed by a passing van in a frighteningly fast flash of lights and spray and noise. I felt so upset by it I gently placed collected up its remains and placed them on the verge. The whole incident took 5 minutes and 21 seconds. A few miles on I passed another toad recently deceased by RTA and photographed, and made a note of its location. I returned to the spot on my way home 18 hours later: difficult to see anything at all on the road and then I found the paper thin skin and skeleton of the toad all mashed together; hard to believe it was once a living creature.
The swift, impersonal, careless brutality. My initial response to the material, but I have not yet finalised where this is going.