Next to fiery Fall, mud season is Vermont’s most famous time of year. Famous, that is, for muddy footprints being tracked into the house, cars encrusted with salt and dirt, and sudden snow squalls. It’s Vermont’s fifth season (sixth, if you include stick season, but that’s another story). It seems odd to commemorate what seems to be a gray, dull time of year, but if you look closer, you will see that mud season is really an exciting time.
Battle Between Winter and Spring
Spring is eager to arrive but winter isn’t ready to leave, and the two battle back and forth across the landscape. A snowstorm might dump 10 inches of snow on the fields; two days later, a warm, wet wind springs up, whisking away the snow and revealing new green grass. The trees are bare—or are they? No, each one is studded with tiny buds of fresh green. Fluffy white clouds cast giant shifting shadows across the hills.
Making our Homes Ready for Spring
For Vermonters, the blustery, ever-changing weather provides the spur to change things up around the house. On the first warm day, we throw all the windows open to let in the spring air. We stuff the bulky winter clothes back in the cedar chest, and pull the spring clothes out. We change our sheets from flannel to percale, but we don’t put our quilted comforter away—there are still some chilly nights ahead. And we give the place the most thorough vacuuming, dusting and polishing it gets all year. We finally get our paperwork organized.
Outside, it’s a joy to take on a few yard chores. Mud season is the time we get outside to sweep out the car barn, pick up bark and sticks from the front lawn, and repair that sagging gate. And we notice that the gravel driveway needs raking. We still need our mud boots and long underwear, but we go without jackets to enjoy the cool air. If we get a little chilly, there’s a bowl of hot soup and some piping hot biscuits waiting inside.
Wherever you live, we hope you are enjoying the lively changing of the seasons, and making each day your own!