Thursday, March 12, 2009

More Lambs and Mud Season Officially Arrives

Yesterday three yearlings had babies. So far, so good for this batch. Here's a proud teenage mama with her sweet little prize. I'm wondering if you all are paying attention - can you tell that this is a youngster, not an older ewe? Do you see how her nose is smaller and less round - how her face looks less developed? Nothing on her has started to sag??

Wow, haven't these lambs grown? Can you believe they are the same ones that were born in January? They're snacking on the snow that falls off the greenhouse roof. Resourceful little things.


Mud season is here. This really is the worst time of year to live on a farm. We cannot escape the melting snow, the ground that is thawing out, the manure piles that are turning into giant piles of sloppy muck. Even I - queen of the non-chalant, nothing bothers me - type of girl, find the mud hard to take.

When I first moved to New England, I really didn't know what "mud season" was. I grew up in New Jersey and all the roads were paved with asphalt. When I lived in eastern Mass I heard friends complaining about "mud season." Let me tell you - they had not a bit to complain about. That mud is nothing compared to what it is like to really live through "mud season" in the country. Our road is barely passable - the town road crew tries by running the grader over the dirt road, dumping gravel. There are spots where there are giant sinkholes. I just grit my teeth and churn my truck through it. Sometimes I think we will be swallowed up by it.


The yard outside the sheep barn is a quagmire. You really haven't lived until your boot gets swallowed up in a winter's worth of manure and hay.... It happened yesterday. I thought I wouldn't escape. I've got to wear higher boots this time of year - my Blundstones just don't cut it.

The Farmer came home the other night totally demoralized. He said he has had enough of the mud. He never complains about anything so I could tell mud season was in high gear ......


His overalls are covered in mud and muck. On the way home, a neighbor was stuck so he helped get the little car with small wheels out of the muddy road. My Farmer is a good guy - he lay down in the mud and hooked a chain on the car, put his truck in four wheel and pulled the neighbor to his house. I think I had better put those Carhart overalls in the wash tonight. But then, maybe not, they'll just be covered in mud again in the morning......


I can't imagine how the sheep feel - every where they walk, they sink into the ground. It's not good for the pastures either. It's getting impossible to spread manure because the heavy tractor can sink in and compact the soil. That doesn't help the fertility of the soil, nor the roots of the grass. Pretty soon, there's going to be another giant pile of manure to be spread on the fields when it all dries out.....

It's a bit hard to go to town. Today I did and considering the state of my boots and mud on my pants, I was really hoping I didn't see anyone I knew. I didn't. And then I looked around and there were a bunch of people who were just like me - escaping mud season in the hills. They too had mud on their boots and pants..... As you can tell, we live in the fashion capital of the world......

I can't imagine how hard it must to be keep a proper establishment clean this time of year. I don't even try here. Our place is definitely not "proper" - it is a farm. And besides, who wants "proper?" Not me, for sure..... I know that mud season will pass one day. Then I'll get out the bucket and the mop and hose it all down.

15 comments:

Nanci said...

Good morning! I remember spring on my farm years ago. I almost slipped out of the "barn" boots and hated the dreary days that came with it. Even the sunshine never made this season look good, too warm to freeze and too cold to evaporate...I feel your dismay!
Poor farmer who does chores in this!

Beth said...

Kristin,
I love reading your blog - even about mud season. My daughter is dealing with it on the horse farm right now (in Hoosick Falls) and I well remember the desire to get past that time of year and on to the lovely time of tulips, lilacs and warm breezes. Thanks for being real and for sharing farm life with people like me who yearn for it and get their "farm fix" reading you!

Deborah said...

The young mama and her lamb are so cute. She looks proud of her little bundle. Mud--yup, it's that time of year!

Susan said...

Oh my goodness, every time I read your blog I can't get over how much I enjoy it. I feel like doing a blog post about your blog post every time: )

Looooove the French Knot video, should be required viewing for all knitters. To see the simplicity and ease that the embroidery is done is fantastic.

Hope you are well, Kristin. Thanks for sharing pieces of your life with the world.

Susan B. Anderson

Harpa J said...

This is some serious mud! But all things pass like you say and soon you will have lovely spring!

Alexia said...

Yes, it brings back the memories. I grew up on a dairy farm, lots of mud and manure and it all mixes together. We tried not to think about it as the cow swished her tail in your face, while we tried to scrub their udders clean to be milked. We learned to not talk alot:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristin,
I enjoy your blog so much. I remember mud season in Colstrip, Montana where I lived a couple of years. The house we lived in was prefab and put there beacuse of the population boom of people moving to this tiny place to build a power plant. Anyway, we had a young black lab who loved to romp in it and you can't get it out of their webbed feet until it dries as pelts on the floor. Spent a lot of time trying to "clean up" the place (I was young and naive to think it would make a difference back then).
Also, love the lamb pictures.
Connie G.

Sally W. said...

We live on a farm also and my six year old son loves to play in the mud, of course. I told him not to stand in one place too long or he'd get stuck. He had to test me and stood in one place. He got stuck then hollered, "MUMMA!!"
It was pretty funny.
And last weekend we were working around the barn, moving cows around. Later we went to the local grocery store (very small). When we got there, I looked down at my husbands pants and boots.
I didn't think anything of it at home but he was covered in muck!! Oh well!!

ponyknit said...

Yes, mud season is upon us. But that means that summer is that much closer! My mare has been avoiding it as much as possible this year, YAY! Keep your chin up, you don't want to miss the first sights of spring!
~Alicia (in MA)

marit said...

Let's hope it dries up quickly...Also, it kind of connects, doesn't it? Sap season and mud season? If it isn't muddy(or at least thawing) at this time of year, you wouldn't get any maple syrup? Or am I totally wrong here;-)?
I really enjoy the way you tell about your farm and the seasons- always interesting.

Diane H K in Greenfield said...

And that's why any farm house in New England that is a TRUE farm house has a mud room when you first walk in! Ha ha! I don't think I've ever lived in a house that didn't have a mud room...

Turtle said...

i asked my girlfriend in northern NH the other day if she had had enough of the storms (which i hear another is headed your way monday??) and would even take mud season over more snow...she said yes. I remember having the mud literally swallow my car one day on the way to school...had to climb onto the hood to get out, thank goodness the girl i was picking up (it was her driveway that swallowed the car) her brother drove a tow truck!

Those babies are so big now!!! Tell farmer we sympathize. It will dry out hopefully soon.

Sarah said...

Thank goodness for the mudroom! My husband thinks he'll make a you-tube video of us driving down the road.

wvkelly said...

I do not believe I will ever use my mud room in the same way again. I will always think of your mud season and that my room will never have that much mud in it. I am still grateful to have the mud room, especially when my carpet is a cream color. Now I just need my dogs to wipe their paws! LOL
Happy Knitting,
Kelly

bwilliams said...

The muck and mud photos are wonderful; been there, done that, many times.