• No products in the basket.
cart chevron-down close-disc


How to watch the water.
Words by Jessica J. Lee. Photograph by Tim Gainey / Alamy.

  • Arts & Culture
  • Issue 51

How to watch the water.
Words by Jessica J. Lee. Photograph by Tim Gainey / Alamy.

It’s late March and the road is dotted with toads. Small, dark lumps pull themselves across the asphalt, doing anything they can to reach their breeding ground near Helenesee, a lake in Brandenburg, Germany. It’s a journey the toads make through forest and over busy roads, and many don’t survive the encounter with oncoming traffic. They are drawn here by instinct: Each spring, the toads follow the same route back to the water where they were spawned. 

As winter comes to an end, signs of the changing season abound: Green leaves unfurl and migratory birds return. In fresh waters in the northern hemisphere, especially ponds and slow-flowing streams, much of spring’s magic lies just below the surface. Take a look in your backyard, local park or a protected nature reserve. Shrinking ice reveals a world alive: Fish that have spent the winter in torpor—a kind of deep sleep—begin to return to the surface. Aquatic plants redouble


This story is from Kinfolk Issue Fifty-One

Buy Now

This story appears in a print issue of Kinfolk. You’re welcome to read this story for free or subscribe to enjoy unlimited access.


Kinfolk.com uses cookies to personalize and deliver appropriate content, analyze website traffic and display advertising. Visit our cookie policy to learn more. By clicking "Accept" you agree to our terms and may continue to use Kinfolk.com.