Thursday, January 21, 2010

Slogging through the mud

Winter in Kentucky is very different from most of the winters I've known in my life. I grew up in the North: born and raised in Cleveland, have lived as far north as Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Duluth, MN. I don't mind snow, I really don't. When you have horses, snow in the pasture actually packs down and is relatively easy for them to walk on. It certainly beats the mud wallows we get here in KY.

Winter in the Bluegrass region of KY where we live means cold rain and mud. Not attractive, not pleasant, and certainly harder to deal with than snow. The horse pastures turn into boot-sucking swamps, and don't even think about going out there without high rubber boots! Even the lawn gets squishy, some days when I walk outside the soil is so saturated it's like walking on a sponge, even to the sound.

Mud is pervasive in the winter. It's tracked into the house by the humans and the dogs. Because our soil here is mostly clay, it's big sticky clumps of mud; on feet, on paws, everywhere it seems. I despair over keeping it out of the house, I've given up on the living room carpet, at some point we'll just rip it out and put in hardwood. And not being a Martha Stewart even on my best days, it quite overtakes me at times. I'd far rather be cleaning chicken pens than vacuuming.

The worst by far is the freezing rain. When it comes, I know a power outage is not far off. Some years it's not so bad, only a few hours. Others, the power can be off for days or a week at a time. We have heaters and a generator, but it's still an annoyance. It makes me put off setting eggs for chicks, as I worry the power will go out and I'll lose an entire incubator of eggs to cold. Last year we had a huge ice storm in early February, I guess if we make it to Valentine's Day I'll feel better about things. But for now such storms loom over my mental state, and make me put off hatching when I really should get on with it already.

Ah winter. Wish we had more snow here, certainly. It would be so much better than the all-pervasive goo.

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