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Mud Season

December 30, 2009

In places well north of the Mason-Dixon line, where the snow starts sometime in November and doesn’t end until March-ish, they have a mud season when the snow starts to melt (and keeps melting) in the spring. Depending on their spring weather, this mud season can last several days or several weeks. Mud is a big PITA on the farm. It’s hard on the stock, on the equipment, and on the pastures. On a grazing farm, you typically have a few ‘sacrifice’ paddocks where you hold the stock when it’s really muddy, because the pugging action of the animals’ hooves is really hard on the pasture.

Mud, mud everywhere

In Oklahoma, we don’t have a mud season, because we don’t have that winter-long buildup of snow. Really, it’s more like we have mud seasonettes. When it rains nearly every day for a week in the spring (or fall) or when we get a major winter event like the Christmas Eve Blizzard of ’09 or the Ice Storm of ’07, we have to deal with MUD. Most of the time, it only lasts a few days before it gets better. But this storm we just had is going to keep us somewhere in the limbo land of mud, slush, re-frozen slush, and more mud for a while.

WHY did I buy a white truck?

We’re in mud-seasonette-sacrifice mode now. The ewes are parked among some cedars, so I am going to hand spread some seed there and let them ‘plant’ it with their hooves. The lambs from last year are delightedly noshing on a big round bale of alfalfa, since it’s too hard for them to dig through the snow to get to grass. Once things melt, we’ll start rotating their paddocks again.

Mud is a drag. I’m ready for the sun to come out again. Good thing the sheep are more content with the mud than their farmer.
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