Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Mud Season

Mud Season, for those of you living in urban areas where all streets are paved or to the south where the earth seldom if ever freezes, is that time of year between Winter and Spring when the snow has melted and the ground has begun to thaw and roughly corresponds to the maple sugaring season.

Notice I said, “begun to thaw.” The ground thaws from the top down as the sun reaches the earth’s surface and warms things up. Below the surface there may still be a layer of frozen soil that prohibits the water from melting snow and rain from percolating down into the aquifer. Not being able to soak farther into the ground this water mixes with the surface soil to produce mud. Of course, you don’t know that it is mud until you A) step onto what looks like a firm patch of ground or B) try to drive your vehicle on a dirt road. Under either situation you may sink anywhere from a few inches into the soft, squishy earth or half way to China.

Mud Season can literally appear overnight. I have had vehicles drive past my cabin on the dirt road section heading to the few places up the road one evening without any problem and the next evening finds them up to their axles in mud after the sun has had a full day to do its magic. And these weren’t flatlanders either but locals who should have known of the hazards and risks of late Winter-early Spring.

Despite the difficulties Mud Season presents it is actually celebrated by northlanders. Mud Season is a harbinger of Spring as reliable as the robin and woodcock. When it arrives, you know it’s just a matter of days before truly warm, sunny weather graces your doorstep and the frogs, toads and birds all begin to sing, the trees and wildflowers begin to bloom, and all is right with the world for you have survived another Winter.

1 comment:

Richmond said...

Exactly! The real trick is keeping the mud of the season out of the house!