Snail shells, ornate, laid bare in February, their seals intact. Succulent shoots break cover; gastropod heaven ascends.
Oodles of water
chucked from grey into gulleys,
it rains frogs and toads.
The homeless warty man croaks,
if only it would rain coins.
- (Top) The Common Frog (Rana temporaria)
- (Bottom) The Common Toad (Bufo bufo)
Identifying Frogs and Toads
- Both types of amphibians belong to the order Anura.
- Generally, frogs have long legs and smooth skin covered in mucus, while toads have short thick legs and rough thick skin, often covered in warts. However, there are a few frogs with warts, and toads with smooth, moist, slimy-looking skin.
- The hind legs of frogs are more powerful than those of toads. Frogs take long high jumps, while toads run or take short hops.
- Frogs have narrower bodies than toads.
- Frogs have higher, rounder, more bulging eyes than toads.
- Frogs lay their eggs in clusters and toads lay their eggs in long strands.
- Frogs need to live near water to survive but toads do not.
- Frogs have loads of predators but toads have few predators due to their bitter taste and smell.
- Frog and toad tadpoles are equally vulnerable to predators.
- Neither frogs nor toads will give you warts, despite the old wives’ tale to the contrary.
Facts about Homelessness (according to the UK charity Shelter)
- 300,000 (1 in 20) people in the UK are officially recorded as homeless or in inadequate accommodation.
- 281,000 people are in temporary accommodation.
- 21,000 people are in single homeless hostels and social services accommodation.
- 4,500 people are sleeping rough.