Sunday, March 11, 2012

All Newts is Good News

So Northern California. There's a road in Berkeley's Tilden Park that my biking crew and I call Newt Road. Its real name is South Park Drive, and the park closes it to vehicles from November through April every year in observation of newt mating season. Pedestrians and bikers can still use the road, but there are signs urging everyone to keep an eye peeled downward, lest anyone stomp or roll over any amorous salamanders.

 In the old days, before the newt policy, countless newts would suffer death by Michelin as they ambled across South Park Drive on their way down to the creek to find a mate. I remember walking through Tilden Park over ten years ago and seeing flattened newt silouettes all over the road. Last weekend we didn't see any newts, dead or alive, on Newt Road, but I did see some newt roadkill on a park road that wasn't closed to cars.

The story of Newt Road always makes me smile, as if the Tilden Park folks are tipping their hats to our amphibious friends who tenaciously risk their lives in the name of love in a way that a species with more intelligence would never do.

And also, since you didn't ask. If I could be another animal, I'd be a dog at a beach with lots of plovers to chase. Or a mighty falcon or owl, so I could still eat meat. The flying part would be pretty cool, too.

No comments: