Toads have a propensity of urinating on you when handled.
This much becomes clear time after time as Meenakshi teaches Janelle how to be a catcher of toads. It’s not as easy as you’d think. Those little guys can be fast. Plus, you have to ignore the clear, oily liquid that ends up in your hand. And contrary to mythological belief, you cannot get warts from toads. Though there is a toxin located just behind the toad’s eyes that can irritate your mouth and make you nauseous if you try to eat one.
Don’t try to eat one.
Our hike up obscure Mt. Roberts is all about toads. They are everywhere; tiny little creatures bounding this way and that over the trail, rustling leaves and, yes, peeing on our hands.
Perhaps Mt. Roberts’ deep oak forest offers toads cover from predatory birds. Perhaps the surrounding area’s wetlands breed plentiful mosquito bounty for toads to eat. Either way, there are so many, we begin to count. 10. 18. 24. 35. 40. 50.
Then, just as we are about to leave the trail at the end of the day we see one final toad. 52.
We all laugh. It’s a sign of course. The Toad Gods have honored our adventure by providing us the exact number of toads as mountains in our quest.
Perfect. Delightful. Despite the pee.
Mt. Roberts (8/24/12)
Height: 2,582 feet
Location: Lakes Region, I-93 to exit 23 to Route 104 east to Route 3 north to Route 25 north through Moultonborough to Route 109 south to Route 171 south to Ossipee Park Road to Castle in the Clouds.
Our trailhead: Mt. Roberts Trail (located north of the salmon pond, past the barn) up and back.
Distance: 5 miles round trip.