Tag Archive | mud season

Spring Equinox

Topaz after launching herself into a juniper during our walk this morning.

I’m grateful for cosmic equanimity on this day of equal light and dark. The harshest of winter is behind us and the harshest of summer unimaginable yet. Today begins the official sweet spot between extremes, a great place to dwell.

Most of the snow has melted with temperatures in the sixties the past couple of days. A good chance for a little precipitation almost daily over the next two weeks should keep the ground damp; grateful I won’t have to start laying out hoses til April.
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Just when the trail has started to dry! I’m grateful we got in some walks to the canyon during these few days between too-deep-snow-or-too-wet-mud, and more rain. Grateful for more rain ~ look how fast that mud is cracking.
I’m grateful for a surprise in the mail today. I finally admitted that I was never going to get around to making anything with the ancestral linens and laces I’d been saving for many years, and during my winter purge I shipped them off to a friend who creates clothing with such vintage pieces. She returned a couple of them transformed! Thanks, Gaythapie! I can hardly wait til it’s warm enough to wear it out. Except of course I can. No point in rushing ~ soon enough it will be hot and dry ~ Summer Solstice is almost upon us!

Mud

I’m grateful for this thing

I’m grateful for mud, as I’ve mentioned before, because in the desert, mud=life. We’re in such an extreme drought cycle that we can’t afford to complain about mud season anymore, probably ever. Let’s surrender to gratitude: we need every drop of water the skies can deliver – we always have in this region, it’s just more apparent recently. Topaz is too young to understand this, and she prefers to avoid mud. I’m grateful to have this cat who walks with us like another dog; I’m grateful for all the cats who’ve happily walked with me like dogs in this forest.

Here’s another reason to be grateful for crusty snow. It gives an alternative path to ice or mud. Stellar enjoys it too. Stellar also enjoys mud. He enjoys walking anywhere, anytime. He’s always been such a happy boy.
Where now shine crocuses there was recently just … you guessed it, mud. I’m grateful for ants. For some ecological reasons, but also, when I bent down on elbows and knees to examine a few little specks rushing in and out and around the petals, I discovered to my surprise…
… that crocuses have a compelling fragrance. I don’t think I’ve ever stuck my nose close enough to notice before. Thanks, ants.
Soon the south border will fill with color. I’m grateful for the first one open of all the little naturalizing irises.
I’m grateful for her agility.
I’m grateful for lunch, chicken and rice with ginger-scallion sauce. So simple, so delicious!
I’m grateful for another beautiful day with Stellar, for sitting with him in peaceful silence under the apricot tree, for walking with him in the mud…
…and I’m also grateful for this thing. After our morning walk I pulled it out of the mudroom, filled it two-thirds full of warm water, and plunged each of Stellar’s mud-clad feet into it one at a time, lifting them gently up and down for a few swishes til they were -sort of- clean, before I let him back in the house. I’m grateful he’s patient and good enough to let me do this. I’m grateful to Suzi for sharing her exciting discovery of this ‘right tool for the job.’ It’s truly a remarkable mud season accessory for the high desert dog owner.

High-Low

14 and 41, low and high today.

I’m grateful for this high-low thermometer. I’ve been keeping track of the temperatures with it for 21 years. Twenty to thirty degrees between high and low any given day is pretty normal, winter or summer. One of these days I’m going to sit down and transcribe all the data from the past two ten-year garden journals, in which temperatures and general weather conditions are recorded. I’m grateful I started keeping track all those years ago. There have been some changes in the weather patterns, and I look forward to charting them.

I’m grateful that the crocus leaf tips emerged undaunted from beneath the last big snow, which snow brought much-needed moisture to the mountains as well, raising the current snowpack to 87% of normal: not nearly enough to combat the drought, and less moisture than normal is expected through spring, but better than it’s been for most of the winter. We’re staring down the barrel of another desperate drought year. But for the moment, the high country is buried in snow, and the low country down here at 6800′ is warming into mud season. I’m grateful even for mud season, which makes a mess of everything but signals the coming of spring! Spring is in the air, despite uncommonly cold nights, and we’re up to about an extra hour of daylight since deep winter. I’m grateful for these little natural gifts, snow, mud, light, and a balmy hour or two on sunny days.

I’m grateful that Stellar, wobbly as he is, can walk through the woods again after a couple of days where the snow was just too deep for him.
We both wobbled these past couple of days, punching through uneven crusty snow that grabbed at our feet, compromising our balance. I’m grateful we can both still amble through the trees despite our feeble knees.