A Year of Mud

| 12/8/2017 9:43:00 AM

Finlee the dog

The ever-present mud hasn’t slowed down our sheep dog Finlee’s enthusiasm.  Needless to say that muddy footprints have been part of the year’s adventures. 

During the dust bowl of the 1930’s, farmers talked about having dust and dirt in everything, finding its way into the house through un-seeable cracks and crevices.  Glasses had to be put away upside-down to avoid filling with silt, even in the cupboards, and a fine layer of brown everywhere made housekeeping a nightmare. 

Now, some days in August, when it’s been dry for weeks and a strong south-west wind blows, the sands and silts will kick up and drift about.  The grit gets everywhere and rumbles up skyward as cars and trucks frequent the gravel road, leaving a fine, brown dusting on all the lawn furniture and parked vehicles—a tiny taste of that earlier weather plague.

But, in your heart, you know it’s just a fluke of August.  It won’t last long.  Autumn rains are coming, and the dust will soon settle as the leaves are shaken from the trees.  But this year that dusty August never happened—instead we had a different excess.

Mud Season

Mud Season is another less-than-desirable time on the farm.  It comes in early spring, with lambing and garden work as the frosts work their way from the soil.  Snows melt and the precipitation turns to rain (and plenty of it).  Pastures flood, the creek rises alarmingly, low patches in the driveways wash out, and the oozy, gooey mud sucks at your boots, even as you walk through the grass.  Nothing dries well and molds and mildews shake off their winter drowsies and look for mischief.

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