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Mud Season

Posted 3/9/2011 9:19am by Mona.

Barn with melting snow

There is a fifth season that is never mentioned scientifically, but it’s definitely talked about extensively here in New England.  It’s Mud season.  Mud season is that transition time during the melting snows of late winter and the not yet totally thawed ground of early spring.  Complicate that with heavy rainfall and Mother Nature creates a very messy, muddy situation.

Dan and I joke around a lot about how our pasture and surrounding yard looks like a ‘weird science experiment’ with all the swales and berms we’ve made to create proper drainage.  With the arrival of mud season which sometimes brings nearby flooding, we’re always eager to see if our experiments have worked.  We need to be certain that the alpacas are safe.  Alpacas are a sure-footed animal, yet deep mud while they’re pronking and not expecting it could easily break a leg or foot. 

So far, so good.

Over the weekend Dan put up a gutter along the front roof of the barn.  Melting snow with nowhere to go (ground is still not thawed) was slowly flowing back into the barn, creating a small pond near the opening, right where one of the alpacas’ poo piles is.  Can you say ‘oh yuck?’  Of course the boys were hesitant to even walk around it.  We would rake over some straw bedding to help absorb and re-direct the water.  This does work but it takes several hours and we’d much prefer the straw is used for the alpacas’ bedding, to stay warm and dry.  It only took about an hour to hook up the gutter and it had started to rain.  Yes, Sara and Emily, your dad was looking quite fashionable in his ‘hat-from-a-grocery-store-bag.’  His hair stayed dry! 

And the barn has stayed dry now too!

Tags: alpacas, barn
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