When we first plotted a move to Maine, my friend Cindy quipped, "Why do you want to move here? We only have three seasons: Snow, Mud and Bugs."
I was undeterred.
Mud season in Maine can be rather impressive. We have ruts on either side of our paved driveway that are nearly knee deep. The lawn has gone from snow covered to mostly bare, but very spongy. I vacuum every day, and find dustings of mud and chunks of mud. Rubber boots are the uniform of the day.
And the low spots in the pasture? Picture a big puddle. Then exaggerate it in your mind. We have one so large we have dubbed it, "Puddle Pond."
All of this makes for one very, very happy flock of ducks. They had such a long, boring winter. They could barely leave their coop for weeks on end, the snow was so deep. But as it has melted their world has enlarged. Now all day they are motoring around the pasture, chasing what I can only assume are some wee, early flies, and finding puddles with great glee. They splash and flap, dipping their heads and necks down to sift through the water and mud. They are moving almost perpetually from dawn till dusk, marching around on their stubby legs, big feet "fwapping" on the moist soil.
At the end of the day, when the sun sets, they make their way to the duck palace. There they find a pan filled with food and seeds and treats, and a bed of clean, dry shavings. They tuck their heads under their wings and I imagine they sleep well there, safe and dreaming of mud, glorious mud.