Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Mud, Mud and More Mud

There is a rhyme for April showers that helps us to put up with the spring rain but I don't think any sort of saying will help me to overlook the filth and inconvenience of late winter mud. It is February in SW Scotland and the muddiest time of the year.

The roads are constantly wet even if it hasn't rained. Its okay if you are on the road and there are no other drivers but put just one other car on the road and that car will always be in front of you, driving very slowly kicking up spray.

As an experienced motorist in the UK, I have found it essential to drive around with a gallon container in the boot (trunk) of the car with some screen wash in it. The windscreen washer fluid runs empty on a weekly basis in my car. Other people may not have to re-fill this often, but I drive a lot for work. I also have to drive past a number of quarries. I have a rare talent for finding a quarry truck to follow. Those quarry trucks are brilliant for spattering what ever car is behind them with a fine layer of mud.

Its muddy at Whitelees too. The old pavement that used to cover the back drive is all but gone. It got crushed by delivery lorries and visiting tractors. Then it was dug up to put in drains. Some gravel was put down where things were dug up for drains, but for the most part, the back way into our house is a muddy mess.

The path to the hen house is a good indicator of the conditions. Late in the summer, there is a grass margin around the chicken run that I mow. The path to the door of the run and the door of the chicken coop is clear and covered in grass. By this time in winter, the grass has gone. No matter how careful I try to be, it always gets worn away. By February, the path is really muddy. If it has rained, then the mud is slick. If we've had a dry spell, the mud will be firmer and not so slippy.

The consolation that I have during this mud season is that the snowdrops have come out. They're bonny wee things. They really brighten up any spot they've been planted. One of the farms up the road has snowdrops lining the curved drive up to the farm house. It is very pretty indeed. For all their beauty, snowdrops are tough. I've seen them get completely covered by feet of snow by a late winter snowstorm and not be bothered one little bit. They look as fresh and delicate after the snow melts as before the snow showed up. Where we live, snow is rare. If it shows up, it will be in February.

The daffodil shoots are poking through too. Today they are about 3 to four inches up. I can't wait for them to be open. There were lots of daffodils already here when we moved to Whitelees and The Man of The Place planted more.

I'm off to work now, but I think a detour past a car wash is in order.

No comments: