Snohomish Slew will decide if spring is around the corner

SNOHOMISH — Will the foggy and soggy weather last another six weeks or will we have an early spring?

The 3-pound bullfrog Snohomish Slew can tell us.

“He hadn’t said anything in months, and last week started to croak,” said Thayer Cueter, the frog’s keepe

r. “He knows something is up.”

She’ll take the bullfrog to the festival in Snohomish on Saturday to show to the crowd. She’ll make the announcement for Snohomish Slew whether spring is coming sooner or later.

They’ve used the same frog — Snohomish Slew — to predict the weather for the past two years.

The event is the Pacific Northwest response to Groundhog Day, but frogs are more effective at predicting the weather, Cueter said.

“Frogs are good indicators in general,” she said. “When spring comes, frogs chirp.”

The event is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. Saturday at the gazebo located at the corner of First Street and Avenue A. Snohomish Slew is scheduled to make his “frognostication” at noon.

Two years running, Slew has predicted correctly an early spring, Cueter said. It could be different this time.

Snohomish Slew started talking only recently when he should have started weeks ago.

“We may have a mixed bag,” Cueter said about Slew’s possible prediction. “He is keeping me on my toes.”

As Slew’s time to shine comes, he has been receiving a double portion of crickets and worms at the nonprofit organization Just Frogs Toads Too! Foundation located on the Edmonds waterfront. Cueter is the founder and president of the foundation, which aims to educate people about amphibians and reptiles.

Snohomish Slew is one of two bullfrogs living at the center. Cueter takes care of 54 animals in total, the majority being frogs and turtles.

Snohomish Slew has a special exemption just to be in the state of Washington.

Bullfrogs are listed in the state as an invasive species, meaning they’re not native and are a danger to local species. Bullfrogs are known to eat other frogs and small fish. Because of this, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife allows bullfrogs to be killed without a license and forbids their transportation.

The department allows Snohomish Slew and his understudy, Snohomish Slew II, to stay in the state, because they are in captivity and are used to educate about invasive species, Cueter said.

This will be the sixth annual GroundFrog Day and is organized by the Snohomish Chamber of Commerce. On Saturday, people are encouraged to wear green, said Pam Osborne, manager for the chamber.

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez@heraldnet.com.

Groundfrog Day

Come see Snohomish Slew predict if spring will come early at GroundFrog Day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, at Historic Downtown Snohomish.

For more info: www.historicdowntownsnohomish.org or groundfrogday.com.

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