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Spring fever

Nature's Notebook

The water is high, and with all the snowmelt I can see bare ground for the first time since the turn of the year. The frozen earth has a skin of deepening mud, as those who travel our unpaved country roads will discover anew as the weather warms in the coming weeks.

I can remember mud season from when I was growing up in Millbrook, N.Y., when dirt roads became impassible to anything smaller than farm machinery, and these left deep gummy ruts, rimmed overnight with brittle ice teeth.

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