Mud Season

Mud Season

Any New Englander will tell you that their least favorite season is Mud Season. Here on the coast of Maine, Mud Season can span mid-March through April depending on how fiercely winter decides to express itself. (Last year, for example, March was cruel on the coast of Maine; if my memory serves me, after a relatively snowless winter, a string of March Nor’ Easters dumped roughly 30 inches of heavy, wet snow.) Since we’ve had a relatively cold spring followed by a very wet mid-April, we are experiencing Mud Season at its finest. The ground is soft and saturated, and the pig’s pasture is fit for mud wrestling. It’s rained eight of the last nine days. At 7am this morning I watched with dismay as sheets of heavy, wind-driven rain threatened to shred the tarp meant to keep their hay dry. I have written that deep snow and pigs with short, stubby legs are not friends. The same goes for deep mud. Watching them sink up to their bellies in mud was simply to much for me to watch; I had to do something. And I had a plan, albeit a bad one.

I was hoping that their summer residence would be a light and mobile affair. Something I could move easily between their three segments of pasture. A rope, I thought, pulled taught between two trees with a tarp thrown over the top and fastened down to create a decent-sized pup tent. They slept under such a shelter in the woods last summer, and it worked wonderfully. Out I went in the wind-driven rain (at least it was a warm 50F) for a quick installation. It’s true that installation was quick. It’s also true that within ten minutes a gust of wind ripped the tarp free of it’s fastenings and sent it flapping like a flag in a gale. All 320 square feet of it. At this point a reasonable person would have given up or at least waited for the weather to improve.

Instead I decided to move them to the only mud-free pasture available, disassemble the shelter I built for them nearly two years ago and re-assemble it in a new, relatively dry location. Five hours later I was done. The pigs were busy tearing into a pasture they hadn’t seen in a year, their shelter was standing and dry, and I was tired.

One Reply to “Mud Season”

  1. Why can I say that hasn’t been said before about MD Sheahan’s tough determination.
    Not much. I’ll let others exhaust the adjective dictionary.

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