This time of year, when the rains give way to sunny days, in my mind I  always hear e.e. cumming’s poem  in just spring. Those of you who’ve studied poetry remember cummings. He never capitalized his name or the titles of his poems which I could never get away with in English class! Here he is reading the poem:

In California a break in the rain this time of year brings this urgency to all gardeners: Quick: Pull the weeds while they’re young and tender and the ground is mudluscious!!!  

weedsSure they’re cute in their infancy.  So many brilliant shades of green particularly after four years of drought, it seems a shame to try to uproot them but if you don’t, they will grow like – well – weeds.  And once the ground starts to dry your best chance to get rid of weeds is with a jack hammer.

Which brings me back to mud.  I don’t view mud as icky. Especially when my mud is rife with worms.



Isn’t this a lovely shot of mud?

It will dry out quickly if the California sun continues to shine.

And then my battle will be hard. But today was a mudluscious day.
i wore my garden hat.
i listened
to the birds

and the boy practicing basketball
thump… thump… thump


and the creek, dry for years roaring to life.

and i said oh what the heck and started my day
in the lower case.
with the worms and the mud.

oh please wordpress – don’t ruin my mudlicious day by insisting i capitalize everything!

(although clearly I’m no e.e. cummings)

Now, the theory of proper blogging etiquette dictates that I end this blog with a question, thus encouraging comments, but the question “what do you think about mud?” really seems a bit daft, don’t you think?

Mud Season


Aspens near the valley floor just beginning to blossom

Other places have spring, but up here in the Colorado Rockies they have Mud Season. Mud Season spans from mid-April to approximately the second week of June, a time when it’s generally too warm to ski but too cold for the aspens to have leafed.  The weather is extremely unpredictable. A few years ago when we were here we took a few hikes in shorts, however this year we rarely got out of heavy winter coats, especially on our visit to the Maroon Belles where we encountered three feet of snow.


Mirror Lake by Carol Teltschick

To get to the lake in the photo above we had to trudge uphill often through fields of melting snow in the rain.  I slipped once, fell in the snow and had an icy butt all the way downhill towards the car (did I mention it was my birthday?).

During Mud Season many of the restaurants and shops are closed and the ones that are open offer deep discounts on their products. The town goes into a  frenzy of preparing for the summer season.  Restaurant facades get a facelift, city gardens get an infusion of snapdragons, petunias and other annuals generally associated with the spring, and its famed gondola only runs on weekends and holidays.


View from the gondola of the road far, far below

Thus the city is void of its usual throng of tourists and/or seasonal residents and/or celebrities willing to overspend on just about anything.  Except the rock sculpture gardens.  They’re free.


One of my favorite places in Aspen is the John Denver Memorial.  It’s on the riverbank just beyond a children’s park.  A simple memorial – several large boulders in a Stonehenge pattern with the words of his most popular songs carved into their smooth faces.


If you can’t read the lyrics, here they are:

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry,
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely,
Sunshine almost always makes me high.

If I had a day that I could give you,
I’d give to you a day just like today,
If I had a song that I could sing for you,
I’d sing a song to make you feel this way.

If I had a tale that I could tell you,
I’d tell a tale sure to make you smile,
If I had a wish that I could wish for you,
I’d make a wish for sunshine all the while.

I must admit that when I was a kid I thought John Denver’s songs were a little too saccharin sweet and that his whole public image, too squeaky clean considering we were in the middle of the Vietnam War, the race riots, the clashes between generations – all of which he seemed to ignore, however, being high up in the Rockies, beside a healthy stream, soaking in the incomparable greenness of a newly budding aspen tree, I couldn’t help but savor his words.