Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Fifth Season

Someone came up to me the other day and said, "I didn’t recognize your truck in the parking lot. It was so dirty." That’s a tell-tale sign of mud season.

Ah yes, mud season, otherwise known as The Fifth Season, the precursor to spring. That long-awaited time of the year when the robins come back.  And I don’t bother cleaning floors.  Really, it’s like shoveling before the snowstorm ends - what’s the point?

Larry can get up the driveway in his front wheel drive Jetta, but the truck bogs down and I need four wheel drive to get off the road. Either that, or I back up in our neighbor's driveway and get a running start, shooting across Charley Hill Road, hopefully with enough momentum to get me to higher, drier ground.  Going through the turnaround becomes extra exciting, because sliding a foot or so in either direction is going to smack off a side-view mirror.

It also makes for squishy paths to the barn, and once the dirt bared itself, the chickens began to dig and churn and revel in its earthy glory. The horses came off Pasture A, reluctantly and unhappily, as now it has to be protected from their sharp hooves and allowed to grow unhampered. The rest of their area, aptly named the "sacrifice" area, now becomes a mud pit of its own until things dry up. I rotate feeding locations to try and minimize the damage.

Tis the season for old houses like ours to be catheterized. The sump pump is an important part of its long-term care. One spring when we had an ice storm and the power was knocked out, I came home and looked down the cellar stairs, to see kitty litter boxes floating like sand-filled pirate ships in a foot of water.

Mother Nature has been fickle this spring. This morning the sky was bright blue and a warm breeze caressed my face. It is now raw and raining, on the verge of sleeting - again.

[courtesy doranna.net]
It can be hard to stay chipper in weather like this - spring seems so close, yet so far. But yesterday I took a moment to look around the yard - the front garden soil looks black and rich. The perennial bed that I planted last year looks ready to pop as soon as it feels a few days of successive warmth. When I brush a horse, there’s a pony’s worth of hair on the ground at the end (note to self: do NOT wear Chapstik in the barn).    Hardy souls like crocuses and lilies are starting to push through the ground.

And the robins? They’re braving the rain and sleet. They know warmer weather’s just around the corner. And clean floors are way overrated. 

Coming soon to a yard near you!



1 comment:

  1. You didn't mention what follows Mud Season - Black Fly Season!