Mud season

April, the worst and best month of the year. Rolling into winter in Maine is fun. It’s a time for cozy clothes and snowy days. Walking the dogs on the beach, even on the coldest days, is quiet and magical, and okay…sometimes just damn cold. But we dress for well for it.

When we hit the middle of March we tend to be done with the multiple layers of clothes and heavy boots. We are thrilled at the first tiny green sprouts of daffodils that keep the promise of spring alive. Night time temperatures stop going below freezing every night, and because of my enthusiasm for wearing less layers, I tend to feel chilly a lot of the time. March is when we start doing odd jobs around the garden, cleaning out flower beds, tidying up and getting ready for spring plantings. Gardening tools and snow shovels begin to mingle.

And then April arrives, and like clockwork, we get snow in the first week. It is a disappointment that melts with the snow in the warmer temperatures. But then the foggy days begin, accompanied by endless days of drizzle, and I feel mopey and impatient.

There are hesitations in the drizzle that send us outside and back into the spring cleanup and the annual seeding of the grass. And because of this weather, the grass greens up and we notice tiny buds on the shrubs and trees. The anticipation of the impossibly green explosion is palpable. Birds are singing and nesting.

The dogs love all of it. The cold, the hot, the dry and the wet. April is very wet and muddy, and muddy paw prints in the house are a reminder of their enthusiasm for outdoor play, regardless of the weather.

Mud season, April, mostly I endure it, but sometimes I relish the signs of new life. I have never appreciated spring in May as much as I do in Maine. After a long winter topped off with mud, it’s awesome.

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