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Monday, March 18, 2019

The other season

For those who don't live in the northern states, the 'other' season doesn't carry much meaning.  Here in northern Vermont, as soon as the temperatures rise and the welcomed melt begins - so does MUD season.  It happens mostly at the end of winter and right before spring.  It can however come before spring, continue into the middle of spring leave for a little while and come back at the beginning of summer or just decide to stay around for weeks.  The decision on whether to keep your winter boots handy or whether to switch entirely to the less insulated mud boots is never an easy one.  Head out for a project in just the mud boots and your toes freeze, wearing your winter boots could cause your feet to overheat or the water could be deep enough that the liners get soaked and you can't wear your boots for three days while they dry.  Today I chose the winter boots.  The water and mud hadn't gotten too deep and I was able to haul brush for burning, collect some dead wood in hopes of drying out the still frozen fire pit and bring feed and hay to the pigs all with warm and still dry feet.

All of the melting we have had in the past week is very welcome.  It taught me yet another lesson - don't put your snow piles in the middle of your spring drainage paths.  My driveway slants eastward and draining water typically flows off the side of the gravel before it makes it down to the house but when temperatures quickly rise into the upper 50's and the snow banks haven't yet melted, a winter's worth of frozen driveway heads straight for your garage.  Because you put your snow piles in the way of where that water would normally flow, you have to go chip and shovel ice so that you can keep the water flowing past your garage and down the hill.  Next year I will not put the snow piles in the same spot as this year and I will be shoveling the spring drainage paths after each snow storm.

Most of the ice in the driveway has melted and there are several spots of brown grass poking through the remaining snow pack.  With the sun out and the mud arriving this farmer headed out to start working on her high tunnel.  The post went exactly six inches into the ground before refusing to budge any further and now it is stuck, frozen in the ground.  At least that is six more inches than what I had before I started today.  We are still waiting on baby chicks, it looks like the boys were not as successful as they appeared to have been.  Tomorrow will include more outside work and perhaps taking a few minutes to restore my minivan from farm vehicle full of hay, tools, fencing and who knows what else, back to a passenger vehicle.

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