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Thursday, April 9, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: ‘Millions’ of frogs descend on Black Lake

 (SR / The Spokesman-Review archives)
(SR / The Spokesman-Review archives)

From our archives, 100 years ago

A “plague of frogs” descended upon Black Lake in Idaho.

A resident of Black Lake wrote that “millions on millions of frogs, some call them toads, suddenly made their appearance in the water and on land.” He wrote to The Spokesman-Review and asked if anyone knew of a similar frog explosion, what was the cause, and what kind of damage can it do?

The location of Black Lake was not specified. There are several Black Lakes in Idaho, but it was likely that he was referring to the Black Lake that is part of the Chain Lakes near the mouth of the Coeur d’Alene River.

The Spokesman-Review talked to a professor in search of answers. He said that the creatures were most likely tree toads, which sometimes appear in large numbers, probably spurred by a large hatch of insects.

He said that the toads should not cause much damage, and that they would probably be “good friends to the farmer” by eating a massive number of insects.

From the farm beat: Another kind of peril – explosions in wheat separators – was once again afflicting farmers in the region.

In La Crosse, a separator blew up while a farm hand was on top of it. His face and hands were burned and he was being treated at the La Crosse hospital. In another incident, a separator was destroyed by fire while threshing at a local farm.

A study the previous year said that these fires and explosions were caused by a build up of flammable dust or “smut.”

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