Dear Curiosity Journal,

The Driftless terrain freezes and thaws, ices over and melts again. The soil loosens, runnels flow downhill, and mud manifests underfoot. The mire is mostly in areas of disturbance, where vehicles pass, the fronts of the greenhouses, the entrance of the sheep pen, and the road to the maple sugar bush. I’ve heard people call this time of year “mud season” usually in a tone that designates the mud as an element which vexes us, our early season adversary. Certainly, working in the muck is messy, slows your step, and sinks your truck if you take it too far. However, it also seems that we create the mud with our activity. I imagine Mother Nature going about her timely business, slowly unfurling, softening the land in her gentle way, and we run a muck, making a mess of everything with our hurried spring preparations.