Mark’s Climate Story
Orlando, Fl 32828
How are you sensing climate change?
In my hometown of Orlando, Florida, it was hot, humid, and rainy all year round and I loved it. It was the very climate that was perfect for frogs and toads. I was blessed in the evening when all I could hear were “ribbits” along the sidewalk. Certain days, I would go outside solely to find these creatures peering out to cross the roads. As a child, I grew my first unique hobby which was catching toads. I would race around my neighborhood keeping track of how many toads there were at a time making it a religion to tally it. After it rained or even during the rain, I scurried around to catch toads in bountiful portions with my bright red bucket. And then I would release it back into the wild (my neighborhood). Obviously I outgrew this hobby as a child because of how disrespect it was for other living beings. The habit, however, of keeping track of the toads in my neighborhood stayed with me and it was enlightening. On certain days of the year there would be more toads and certain days there would be less toads. But it became more and more apparent that there were less toads overall each year. The once loud sidewalks cheering with ribbets felt silent as I grew older. It wasn’t until years later that I found that toads were indicator species, an organism that very presence reflects the environmental condition it was in. It was troubling to find that the environment was deteriorating in some way. It was likely from the worsening air condition affecting the toads. And I felt sad how an endearing specie to me that gave me so much joy to be surrounded by was dying out to environmental conditions.
How do these changes make you feel?
Very sad but hopeful. I hope one day these changes will be reversible and biodiversity will once again enrich our planet.
Orlando, Fl 32828
Browse All Stories