Muddy paths

The past few weeks as I have made my way in and out of the house or the office, I don’t know, something just felt  missing. I could’t quite put my finger on it, but there was that nagging, back of the brain, “I think I’ve forgotten a really important thing” sort of feeling. All the rain we have had/are having/will have, finally put a name to the missing bit: Mud Season.

Growing up in Connecticut, we were used to the standard four seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. Silly, naive me, I thought that was all there were. It wasn’t until moving to upstate New York at the age of twenty-five did I learn there is a fifthy, murky, dirty season lurking somewhere in between as well.

Mud season is like the black sheep of Mother Nature’s brood – you know the type, always getting drunk at Christmas and making passes at the preacher’s wife, walking into a fancy restaraunt with grease-stained jeans and a Toby Keith t-shirt. Mud Season is the Pig Pen relative no one wants to ever talk about.

The truth is that we’ve had an odd spring thus far. It’s like everything has been pushed back four weeks or so. April showers are here in mid-May, will May flowers come in mid-June? And Mud Season has come as well but not at it’s usual point between the snow-melt and the greening of the grass,  instead it has come now. Mother Nature (someone who has been on my naughty list recently) has decided to throw us yet another loop.

What does this postponed Mus Season mean? Well, the fields have been too wet to get much of the field work done thus planting has been delayed and chopping haylage will be pushed back as well. It means dirty floors, messy walks and filthy dogs. And, my favorite, the kind of mud that grabs onto you and won’t let go, sucking your shoes right off your feet with a deep “thawp” noise.

It also means, hopefully, that once all this rain stops and the sun starts to shine that life will begin to show, wardrobes will shed and Summer will finally be here. In upstate New York we get such a short window of nice weather (the first snow will undoubtedly be here by late-October) that having a delayed Summer makes us antsy and fidgetty and ever so slightly cranky.

Come on, Summer! Come on, Sunshine! Come on, allergy attacks and sunburns and frizzy hair…I’m seriously ready for you all.

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