Mud Season

Everybody I know seems happy that we’ve had a mild winter and that we appear to be having an early thaw. Not me.  I am not happy.  No snow and warming temperatures at this time of year mean just one thing; muddy paws.  It will be at least a month before grass will grow in my backyard — four weeks of mud, muddy paw prints, muddy paw prints all over the floor, muddy paw prints on my bedspread, even muddy paw prints on my shoes if I don’t get out of the way fast enough.  Aarrggghhhh!

What does an early thaw mean to you?

61 thoughts on “Mud Season”

  1. Early thaw means I worry about the trees and bulbs coming out of dormancy too early, as there is inevitability a snow storm/cold snap lurking in our future. One year, on April 28, I had tulips just ready to bloom when blizzard struck and we got more than a foot of snow. There were the pink tulip flower buds just above the snow, frozen solid. We had planted a bunch of bulbs the previous Autumn, and it was the first time for them bloom.

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  2. Muddy paw prints (I’m totally with you). Everywhere. A kitchen floor that will not be clean until May or June. A truly hideous back yard that seems to be more mud than anything else…which leads me to looking back there and thinking that it might be time to disassemble the climber/swing set this summer and reclaim that stretch of mud for gardens.

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  3. I used to call it “the mud season.” It was the period after the winter snow but before the grassy greenup. The dogs couldn’t help coming in wearing mud from toenails up to the first joint on their legs. We kept a big towel by the back door to rub them down as they came in, but it never got them clean.

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  4. yep we have towels by three doors that get washed more often than the dogs do. it is pretty funny to see the dogs put up with the terrycloth between their tooes. and under thier armpits and around the tail. the walks around the woods and the mudpit backyeard mean a 3 or 4 minute entry to the house. vinnie is always fiorst and nala waits patiently dfor her turn. its pretty funny on days when it is not muddy that they look at you in anticipation and seem lost when the towel is not used.

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    1. Towels galore. Last night before I wrote this bit I thought I had gotten all the paws wiped off, but I clearly missed one, so now have paw prints through the kitchen, up the stairs and on my bed as well. YA will be doing laundry and mopping today.

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  5. early thaw means its time to ge the chicken wire and fertilizer sporeaders listed on craigslist and try to get that crap out of my warehouse. i just had to fire a guy who said he didnt want to lift things. he wanted me to lift it and put it where it need to be for photography. i am old you are weak. i will be here tomorrow you will not is the way the conversation. i can not hire a person to lift stuff for my photographer who would like to be a specialist. maybe someday not today, i suppose ralph laurens photographers have people shuffleing things around for them but im not ralph

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  6. early thaw used to bmean celebration time for my fertilizer sales and all my garden sales. i still live int hat world but i am selling swim and electric heaters etc right now. i go to alabama on monday to finalize the new job i am taking as the guy in charge of new market development for a bbq firepit patio heater company that will get me involved in target and menards garden business again and allow me to help them figur out new ways to celebrate early thaws in that world . keep your fingers crossed

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    1. Good for you. Mud season should be over in Alabama. I started one day a week at my new work location yesterday. May 1 I go to 2 days a week, June 1 three days. Yippee.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Rise and Mop up the Mud Baboons!

    Ditto. I think parents/grandparents of toddlers (ljb) and dog owners suffer with the the early thaw especially. My dogs hate the bath that comes with mud, but will splash and wallow in every available outdoor puddle and body of water available with glee. Then they look at me as if I am betraying them when I towel them off.

    Long-suffering sigh.

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    1. yup, the twins love, love, love mud and dirt. This winter the yard has transitioned between frozen ground and mud several times. Thank goodness for preschool where they stay somewhat clean. Since I’m the main laundry person, I am grateful.

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    2. I’ve got Humphrey trained to lift a foot when I say “foot”. Working on ‘LEFT foot’ and ‘RIGHT foot’.

      Hey, anyone got advice for the skunk smell he’s still got? It’s coming up on three weeks since his ‘encounter’. We’ve done – and continue to do- the hydrogen peroxide / baking soda / Dawn soap mix plus visits to the ‘You Wash Doggie Mart’… and he’s better… but there’s still a smell there.
      Is it really simply a matter of time?

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    1. celebrate what a boldfaced terrible example he is of the other side
      so much easier to point to than the posers who normally occupy those ranks on the behalf of tea party hooded clan

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  8. dale and i are irish
    i used to love getting a good ol guinness buzz going.
    my dad and i would meet with tim burns for corned beef and cabbage and then tim would head over to his bar stool in st. paul and start a great day of social celebrating in the name of heritage great men long gone and the old sod. i got to see ireland 30 years ago and fell in love
    single derry and cork are my irish root counties in the south and antrim in the north ( the bastards)
    here’s to st pattys you bunch of kraut’s and wooden heads
    have a great day
    i may go designated drive tonight

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have a smidge of Irish blood a couple of generations back but only own one green shirt.. it’s an Indian design tunic with paisleys and sparklies. Very un-Irish, but that’s what I’m wearing today!

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    2. Ahem! Me mother was Irish, sure and begorrah. And I intend to celebrate that heritage by participating in the best Irish Ceili in town. But before that I’ll fix our usual St. Paddy’s Day dinner of Corned Beef and Cabbage (I know, I know, that’s about as Irish as spaghetti and meatballs). It’s a great day, for the Irish! It’s a great day for fair! tra-la-la.

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      1. the quiet man is on tonight
        ill be watching the scenery from the ireland of old
        not my wife’s favorite with the wife serving her husband but i love the tale and the acting and the scenery
        i went to the town where it was filmed and spent 2 days hanging out
        i’m having a potato

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I adored The Quiet Man for years. The other day it was on cable TV, and I started to watch it. I was shocked at how it seems to me now. The Irish stereotypes are really hard to watch, not to mention relationships between the men and women. Worst of all, for me, was a plot line in which a guy genuinely committed to nonviolence is forced to become violent to make his wife happy. We can’t expect all old classic films to look good to modern eyes, but in terms of outdated and pernicious social attitudes, The Quiet Man now ranks with Gone With the Wind in my mind.

          You’re right, tim: the scenery is drop-dead gorgeous.

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  9. I sympathize with all of you back home experiencing mud season. I’ll return north in late April and am sure we will still have a muddy driveway….I always hated to see the snow packed white drive disappear. Here in Tucson we’re experiencing early spring=temps in the 90’s but evenings cool. ‘Cold front’ expected so our hi’s will only be in the 70’s…cold?!?!

    I hated when husbwnd put down pea gravel leading into the garage and up to the steps of the deck into the cabin. Come mud season I was thrilled with the stupid litttle pebbles….rather than the mud. Towels are at all doors year round….wet paws, dirty paws….and it is required that shoes/boots are taken off upon entry….if offensive.

    Yesterday I listened to an interview with Senator Chuck Schumer…on pod cast ‘Slate I Have to Ask’…reassuring.

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  10. Oh my goodness yes. Mud. Bleagh.

    When I was milking cows, there was a spot just off the main, hard surfaced cowyard, that was a sort of bottomless pit of mud (and despair). With the clay soils we have, this 30′ stretch just turned into a mud pit. Getting smacked in the face with a muddy tail was miserable. And it made me angry and grumpy and I had a bad attitude for weeks.

    Now it’s the dogs paws as you mentioned. And the chickens dirty feet as they walk over the eggs to get settled to lay their own egg. And our cars are always dirty.
    But it is an indicator of spring and warmer temperatures!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. teehee … I usually have no problem being crabby about stuff. But I just can’t relate to the whole muddy paws problem. Never had pets as an adult. So sad, too bad … 🙂 🙂 {an extra smiley just to piss you off!!}

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  11. There’s a time I used to dread more than Mud Season. Just before the thaw that creates Mud Season you have all that dirty snow that has been sitting on the ground since November. Snow is white. What’s left of snow in late March is a filthy mess, with all the black particles that have fallen out of the skies for almost half a year. Ugh! And then maybe the snow melts and you discover *stuff* that’s been under the snow all winter, and it just now is coming back in view. Ugh!

    But to bop back to the positive side of things, I remember that every spring there comes a day when the sun is melting the snow and ice. Guys with spuds or shovels stand in the alleys hacking and chopping the ice there. If you can open some pathways in the ice, the meltwater starts rushing toward the drains in the street. So you hack and chop, quite literally making winter go away. It feels great that people who don’t suffer Minnesota winters could not understand!

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  12. Good-bye, and Keep Cold
    By Robert Frost

    This saying good-bye on the edge of the dark
    And cold to an orchard so young in the bark
    Reminds me of all that can happen to harm
    An orchard away at the end of the farm
    All winter, cut off by a hill from the house.
    I don’t want it girdled by rabbit and mouse,
    I don’t want it dreamily nibbled for browse
    By deer, and I don’t want it budded by grouse.
    (If certain it wouldn’t be idle to call
    I’d summon grouse, rabbit, and deer to the wall
    And warn them away with a stick for a gun.)
    I don’t want it stirred by the heat of the sun.
    (We made it secure against being, I hope,
    By setting it out on a northerly slope.)
    No orchard’s the worse for the wintriest storm;
    But one thing about it, it mustn’t get warm.
    “How often already you’ve had to be told,
    Keep cold, young orchard. Good-bye and keep cold.
    Dread fifty above more than fifty below.”
    I have to be gone for a season or so.
    My business awhile is with different trees,
    Less carefully nourished, less fruitful than these,
    And such as is done to their wood with an axe—
    Maples and birches and tamaracks.
    I wish I could promise to lie in the night
    And think of an orchard’s arboreal plight
    When slowly (and nobody comes with a light)
    Its heart sinks lower under the sod.
    But something has to be left to God.

    back to top

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  13. I”m with you on the dirty snow, Steve. I find it depressing to look out on a cloudy, cold day and see gray, black, filthy snow. It also brings out the litter that people have tossed everywhere: potato chip bags, plastic bags, food wrappers of all kinds. Ugh.

    The worst part of mud season? Cleaning up after the dog. When you have a layer of melted snow on the yard, it’s just plain gross to try to find the dog poop, but even worse is trying to pick it up. Yuck.

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  14. OT note: I’ve been watching a superb miniseries from the UK, something called “Last Tango in Halifax.” It was written by Sally Wainwright. One of the stars is Sarah Lancashire. Wainwright was so impressed with Lancashire’s acting in this series that she created a whole miniseries around her, a series called Happy Valley. To the best of my knowledge, these two series are only available on DVD and on Netflix.

    I think Lancashire is at least as good as any actor–male, female, living or dead–I’ve ever seen. And Wainwright is as good as I used to think Julian Fellowes was. Both series are wonderful.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. The shows are very different. Last Tango is a fascinating character study with an outstanding ensemble cast. The subject matter is more changeable, with some moments of keenly perceived comedy as well as drama. The view of human nature is complex and enjoyable.

        Happy Valley is about a woman cop who tangles with a really sick guy, and it is gritty stuff. There is no gratuitous violence, but the drama is high strung and powerful. This isn’t a kids’ show. The writing and acting in both shows is absolutely top quality.

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  15. I am happiest when spring doesn’t arrive until tax season is over. That way I can focus on my volunteer shifts without having to shift gears and get out in the gardens. Not sure how that will work out this year – things are getting dangerously close to greening up.

    No dogs at my house. If I take Sammy out for a walk he usually sticks to the sidewalks and avoids puddles and mud. He doesn’t like wet feet.

    Saw a TV show once, one of the remodeling shows, where a couple installed a sort of mini shower in their house near the back door. A little tiled area with a floor drain and one of those handheld shower heads. They had dogs.

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  16. Verily,
    I really enjoyed reading your post and found your struggle pretty similar to mine. Personally I love spring, even though I also enjoy the winter, sometimes it just seems to drag on for too long and a little sunshine is much needed. Even though there are a lot of upsides to the spring time for me, muddy paws is by far the worst thing about the spring. I have two dogs, an Irish Wolfhound (big dog=big paws) and a German Shepard who both don’t mind jumping up on my bed or on me after being outside in our muddy backyard. Of course in order to prevent this, I have to wipe of each of their paws before coming in the house every time they go outside which gets a little annoying after the second or third time. And believe me, I can’t tell you the amount of times I have to throw my shoes in the washer after getting multiple muddy prints on them! Also, if you dog(s) are like mine and roll in the mud, I would recommend just using the hose after my many failed attempts of using the bath tub.

    Alec

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    1. Alec – welcome to the trail! Join us any time – we’re here every day!

      Irish wolfhound – that’s a seriously big dog! My dogs are one Irish setter (who is quite small even for a female setter) and one small shepherd mix – both about 50 pounds. So far no rolling in mud, but next week we have rain in the forecast for six days straight. I’m thinking of just installing a shower on the back porch!!

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