Four seasons aren’t enough to fully define a year in Vermont. We divide the four main season into shorter “sub-seasons”, not only to recognize subtleties and nuances that deserve attention but also, I think, to keep any one of them from seeming to be an endless slog.
Some of these “sub-seasons” are simply the in-between stages as one season gives way to another. After the leaves are off the trees and the tourists have gone home, the hillsides are bare and some guys call the period before the first snow “stick season”. “Black fly season” is endured as spring transitions to summer, following close on the heels of “mud season” which marks the change from winter to spring.
It is now mud season.
Just 10 days ago we were in the process of being buried in snow as a set of powerful storms moved up the coast. Close to four feet of heavy, wet snow fell, and depending on your point of view, it was either tranquil and beautiful:
Or, quite frankly, a real pain in the ass:
Now all that snow is melting, swelling streams and rivers. Some is affecting the roads, but not nearly as much as the thawing of what seemed, until just the other day, to be permanently frozen. Last fall’s rain, along with winter storms and just plain old frost have been waiting for days like these, when the sun is warmer and more intense, to be liberated from their icy prison beneath the surface of our road.
The road remains frozen in the shade
but in the sun all bets are off.
Precision steering is required for most stretches on the long way home
but, at other times is absolutely pointless.
And mud season has only just begun.