How To Make A Rain Turtle

Started by rockinbbar, July 08, 2006, 07:06:55 AM

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A Rain Turtle is a combined piece of American History from Indians & the Old West.

This is what I have been taught about them.

When I was a young man, & was taking an apprenticship in surveying, one of my teachers was a thin, OLD man that had been surveying since he was able to hold both ends of the rod off the ground.
The old gent ALWAYS wore a white shirt, tie, kahaki pants, packer boots, and Fedora hat. He was in his 80's when I met him....

He taught me that when the surveyors would survey boundaries & railroads across the old West, they often stayed with Indians, or had Indians accompany them on their long traverses across the American West.

The story goes on to say that when an area needed rain, the Indians would make the outline of a turtle in the sand, generally facing West, as that is the direction the Rain God came from....
Once the Turtle was drawn, the Indian would drive a stake of wood through the center of the Turtle. Often times, it rained instantly. The Indians took it for granted that the process worked & wondered why the "Dumb Ol' White Eyes" would not use it when they needed the Rain God to appear!

Word of this phenominan quickly spread throughout the tight knit group of surveyors in the Old West. They quickly picked up on the trick & became apt at performing the simple cerimony.

As they traveled through the West, they came across towns that severely needed rain for their crops & livestock. The surveyors were readily there to make a rain turtle & bring relief to the community.....

The communities, grateful to get the rainfall often offered to pay the surveyors for their precious gift....(which was promptly refused by the surveyors)

When the Survey Party proceeded to move on from the town, often, there had been a collection of baked goods, some money, ckickens, things brought to the wagons the surveyors used, by the townspeople in appreciation for the rain.

Today, most surveyors know of the Rain Turtle....
Most of them use it to get a well deserved break in work, caused by the rain...:)

I have personally seen a rain Turtle work instantly.
While Surveying in texas, during the summer months you have cloudy days of humid weather, but NO rain.
I made a rain turtle & had the sky "open up" so that we had to abandon the survey project for days.

I have often times used a Rain Turtle to bring on rain. Usually on my ranch, in times of drouth.

This year, we had NO spring green-up. Winter was dry & offered NO snow to help in the green-up.

The first part of June was VERY hot & dry. Long range forecasts held hot temps with NO chance of rain....
I figured I'd better build a Rain Turtle to help....

About the 10th of June I got up from my computor, after seeing the longrange forecast of HOT & NO RAIN & promptly built my first Rain Turtle. This was about 10 a.m.

At 1 p.m. it had clouded up & sprinkled some rain.....I went to the local forecast & saw that the forecast had changed to a 30% chance for several days! (Believe it or not!)

After 10 days, we had recieved several showers.... a couple of which yielded better than 1/2" of rain.... I REALLY wanted the drought BROKEN.....
I went to the other side of the barn & made my SECOND Rain Turtle.

That was all it took! The monsoons came, it has rained between 6-9 inches in the area. The longrange forecast holds more rain...
The pastures are GREEN!

If you use a Rain Turtle, you should have FAITH in it.....I do!
I have seen it work TOO MANY times. I don't propose to know WHY it works, nor do I question why. I just know it DOES work.

I usually use my upside-down pink marking paint to make my drawing. I paint the turtle....body, head, legs, tail & eyes. It is 2 1/2-3 feet from head to tail....I then drive a wooden stake right through the middle of the turtle.
I face the turtle West...

Good luck with the use of the Rain Turtle. Make one, then sit back & get ready for rain! :D

Remind yourself often to SEE not just "look".

M. R. Byrd

Thanks! I am stuck in Dodge today, getting Quick Books loaded on my computer after my hard drive crash, but I will be at the ranch after church tomorrow and a rain turtle will be born. I'll give you a report.
Maynard Reece Byrd
Dodge City


Good Deal, Maynard!

If others try it, let me know how it does for you....

Remind yourself often to SEE not just "look".



Maybe you'd like to try this around your place...

Be nicer than necessary.


I'm pretty sure most of the rain turtles must have migrated to the Willamette Valley of (western) Oregon many years ago.

I believe they are still here.

Whydoya'spose it rains here all the time?!? ;)
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