Mud Season

Late_Winter_FogWinter wanes, not that we ever really had winter this year. Still, the light arrives earlier and departs later each day, and the cold lessens.

We are on the brink of mud season. For the past couple of weeks the temperature has vacillated from very cold to unseasonably warm. Each storm has brought rain instead of snow, so the ground is bare. Traveling unpaved roads has been iffy for most of the winter. Now we approach weeks of mire, when the frost leaves the upper few inches of ground, and many roads approach impassable.

The mild winter has been tough on the tourism industry and winter sports enthusiasts. At the same time, it has been kind to our wallets, as heating bills are the lowest in memory, and to the ticks who have flourished in the mild weather. It will be a tick challenged summer, following two cold winters that helped to keep tick populations, and therefore disease, in check.

Here in Vermont, mud season lasts a few long weeks, then vanishes into spring warmth and newly graded dirt roads. In the interim, folks tend to help one another through the mire. Farmers trade snow plows for winches, and everyone pushes, laughing and cursing as they quickly become mud covered. Helping one’s neighbors and community comes first, and aid is, usually, generously extended to the hapless traveler.

In politics, it is also mud season, and the season threatens to last into November, and probably beyond. There’s not much kindness, and even less thought to the long-term consequences of all that bad behavior. Listening to the rhetoric, one  may easily decide we are only to seek the well-being of those who agree with us. Seems like a crazy way to live.


10 thoughts on “Mud Season

  1. I miss mud season in the forest where I used to live, Michael. Winter here has been a long icy-sidewalk season in the city. People here tended to stay indoors, perhaps a reasonable response to the mean-spirited rhetoric of would-be kings and queens. It does feel like a dark time, a time to find an inner light to guide us to be kinder to each other.

    1. Carol, our mild winter allowed people out, and many days found folks interacting outside. This is a far cry from the norm. Even our streets and sidewalks remained mostly clear, although I did not motivate myself to take enough advantage of that. This week I have found myself awakening much earlier, along with the growing light. Working on kindness.

  2. Unseasonably warm temperatures yesterday here led me out on a mud hike. I like the sound of it squinching beneath my boots! Hadn’t thought about the tick population – will have to be more vigilant when camping this year. No need to sling mud around, simply speak the truth in love. Liking the candidate from your state who seems to be managing that reasonably!

    1. Am honestly not sure of any of the candidates. Sloshing through mud is fun, as is slinging it in very controlled conditions. Not so much fun when one’s car gets stuck, although this is seldom an issue now we live in town. Lovely to have changing seasons.

  3. Hi Michael, I have never heard the term ‘mud season’. Here we call it spring breakup. I think mud season is more fitting. It does seem to be coming early this year. It also seems like a strange season for US politics. It is like watching a weird mean spirited reality TV show. Like the mud it can’t last. Bob

  4. I love your take on ‘mud season’….although I’ve been complaining that most of this winter has been spent wading through mud, with the dogs returning from all their walks dipped up to their armpits in fresh black mud!!

    1. A number of locals have noted this was the winter where we spent virtually its entirety in mud. Don’t have dogs, so that is a challenge we avoid. (We would like to have one.) The worst is the combination of ice and mud! Oy!

    1. Andrea, we are all wondering what mud season will be like. Will it be wet and mild, snowy, or just warm and dry. At the moment temps are up and down, which is good late February weather. Our soon to be in-laws are making maple syrup on the warm days, and hoping things stay cool enough for sap flows. We shall see. Last year was very challenging.

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