Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It’s Raining Cats & Dogs...And Toads?

As Spring progresses, sounds are set at high volume.   The mix of cool and warm air sets off thunder and lightning storms, pounding hail, gusty winds, and crashing surf on the beach as the ocean waves are churned by the weather.  Rainy days are punctuated with bright, sunny ones causing rapid growth of all the local vegetation, and the awakening of insects and other creatures. 

Pacific Tree Frog, OR Dept of Fish & Wildlife photo 
At dusk the marsh is alive with the voices of thousands of frogs and toads singing for a mate.  As the seasonal fervor intensifies, the buzz and whir of so many croakers sounds like a flying saucer ready to take off!   Mallard ducks and other waterfowl spontaneously add their verses.   
With all the rain we've had lately, I’m reminded of a story in an oral history interview of Beaver Creek pioneer, Evelyn Peterson Boddy (recorded in about 1975, and part of the Lincoln County Historical Society Oral History Collections).  
Mrs. Boddy stated, “...We didn’t have any when we came here.  I think it sort of rains down from someplace.  I can remember one morning, we had toads rain down on the farm at one time.  We didn’t have any toads around, and [then] the place was covered with toads.  So how did they get there, if they didn’t rain?...”
The interviewer asked, “You mean you went out in the morning, and there were toads?”
Mrs. Boddy replied, “Toads all over, all over the place, our road from right down by the creek and clear up to the barn, and that hill for years was covered with toads.  And they finally all died off, and maybe just a few, you know, that set, a few big ones, you know.”
This is the stuff of myth and legend, and it is easy to see how an unusual natural occurrence can become local legend.  How did those toads arrive so suddenly if they didn’t come on the rain?
How, indeed.

Posted by jackie. 

No comments: