I did get to play in the mud this weekend. My nephew, Jeremy, came out Saturday morning and we started working on the water. I was impressed that we could even pry some of the landscaping stones up since they were still solidly frozen into the ground. The ones we couldn’t get up by hand were even easier to remove with the backhoe–they just didn’t look quite as nice. We got the hole dug in front of the well house and found the water line. The beer cans we dug up with the water line might be something of a clue as to why many of the things around this play seem to be not quite top quality! Because the ground was still frozen solid for the first foot and the hoe was sitting on an ice floe from the leaking water, it was quite a challenge to get through that top layer. I was impressed he could do it without hitting the electric wire above, sliding into the picnic table beside, smashing into the well house, or flattening the fence post. It was a bit of a tight area to work in. Because it was such a hard dig, we decided not to continue ripping up my landscaping to find where the rural water hooked in. I don’t have that option to switch back and forth now, but we did put two separate lines out from the well–one to the cattle tank and one to the brand new hydrant. At least I can hopefully use one if there is a problem with the other. We got the new hydrant set and buried. It even works! By that time, it was really starting to get muddy, the rain was beginning and Jeremy had to go to his real job, so this has to be continued later (hopefully today).
The real playing in the mud came on Sunday after the rain overnight and no refreeze. The big pile of dirt that wasn’t completely smoothed back into place was just bubbling with the ice thawing below it. All throughout the barnyard it was treacherous walking. I can’t count the number of times I almost slipped. I can count the one time I did actually fall. I felt the pain in my knee first and then realized I was laying on my side. It was hard. It was cold. It was wet. It was nasty–because it isn’t really mud. It is a goose and goat manure and hay mixture floating in the water on top of the ice that is five inches deep before you get to any real mud. I was really impressed with myself that I didn’t even dump the feed pans I was carrying. Litha, one of my girls, was right there to start eating while I was still lying on the ground. I know she was just trying to lighten the load for me.
It must be a sure sign of spring when I’m either slipping on ice or sinking to my ankles in mud. It’s as good an indicator of the change in seasons as the Canada geese flying overhead.