“The Frog Lady” got her nickname by no coincidence
“The Frog Lady” Thayer Cueter (left) holds Snohomish Slew up so that he can give Fred’s Rivertown Alehouse server Alma Logerfo a kiss on Sunday, Jan. 22. Cueter and Snohomish Slew were at the downtown Snohomish restaurant to promote the GroundFrog Day event. The bullfrog will be put to a microphone for his “frognostication” at GroundFrog Day, which starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28 at the Avenue A gazebo off of First Street.
EDMONDS — Thayer Cueter, affectionately known as the Frog Lady, is an amphibian aficionado
and caretaker of Punxsutawney
Phil’s slimy competitor, the American Bullfrog Snohomish Slew.
Cueter has been a frog lover since she was a young kid in Michigan. Born on St. Patrick’s Day, she’d receive a lucky little knickknack in the form of a green critter each year, thus beginning her frog
memorabilia collection and stoking her interest in amphibians.
She knew, even then, that she wanted to help animals. She
would nurse injured frogs and amphibians back to health and
turn them over to the local animal rescue for adoption.
Her affinity for science was also clear from early on. While she was taking care of these animals, she’d study them and record her observations, educating herself as she went.
When put together, her interest in science and her passion for amphibians and other animals led her to become both a herpetologist (the study of amphibians and reptiles) and a veterinary technician.
Eager to spread awareness, Cueter is active in local schools
and throughout the community teaching the basics of frog ident-ification, caretaking, and proper environmental stewardship.
She can be easily spotted driving around in her iconic, frog-green VW van, adorned with all manner of hoppy phrases.
One of the events she’s part of each year is GroundFrog Day, which will be this Saturday, Jan. 28. This “frognostication” event started 12 years ago and features the vocals of Snohomish Slew as he predicts the coming of spring. The lore goes that if he croaks when asked, then spring is near; if he doesn’t, people should
anticipate more wet weather.
Her involvement began as an objection to the way organizers handled the non-
native frogs it had shipped in for this event, as well as frog-related contests during Kla Ha Ya Days each
summer. After the events, people would simply set the frogs free, not realizing that non-native frogs, particularly the American Bullfrog, are considered an invasive species and are responsible for decimating our native frog populations.
Cueter proposed a rather symbiotic alternative to Snohomish, one that would be in compliance with state Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations.
She offered to adopt and look after these destructive amphibian interlopers, preventing further harm to the local ecosystem, and in turn she would provide a well-rested Snohomish Slew for GroundFrog Day each year. The offer stuck, and she’s provided Slew since 2008.
That same year, Cueter
created the charitable, nonprofit Just Frogs Toads Too Foundation. The organization’s mission is “to educate our members and the general public about the husbandry of amphibians and reptiles, and take an active role in the preservation and conservation of herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians of a certain region).”
Cueter opened her gift store, Just Frogs Toads Too! on the Edmonds waterfront in 1998, exhibiting her massive, world record holding (according to World Record Academy) collection of frog memorabilia. Unfortunately, the store closed down in August 2016 and her treasure trove of froggy gifts is now confined to storage.
Just as she did as a child, Cueter also takes in injured or abandoned reptiles and amphibians, nursing them back to health. Once the animals are healthy she’ll typically set them free if they’re native, and if they’re non-native, she’ll try to find homes for them.
GroundFrog Day takes place on Jan. 28 from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. in downtown Snohomish at the Avenue A gazebo. Hop on down to see if Snohomish Slew can get the jump on his furry nemesis from back east. Cueter says her froggy friend hasn’t been wrong yet.
Check out the Snohomish Chamber of Commerce website for more information.
Donations to the Just Frogs Toads Too! Foundation can be submitted at www. justfrogsfoundation.org.
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