You’ll often hear people in these parts talk about the beauty of ALL the seasons in Colorado. Even I have said that we wish all of our guests could see both the subtle and dramatic differences each season brings: the wildflowers in the Spring, the star-filled skies at a campfire in the summer, the changing aspens in the Fall and the snow-coved trees and landscapes in the winter. Truly the mountains are a sight to see at any time of year. Well….almost any time of year…. It seems we tend to forget we have one season here not taught to others in grade school. The 5th (and not so beloved by the vast majority of folks) season is what we call “Mud Season”. Mud Season? What’s that? we’re often asked. Well let me give you an exclusive insiders peek at our “less favorite” months of the year. The time between February and June when the weather is unpredictable, the storms are often sudden and fierce and the snow is wet, wet, wet. First of all, January and February are usually the coldest months. This year was no exception. By the time March rolls around and temps start getting into the 30s again, you feel like Spring is right around the corner! The snow will start to melt—often completely if there are even just a few days of consecutive warmth and the sun is shining. 35 degrees feels like t-shirt weather and Spring fever is well on it’s way in. One might start to have thoughts of putting away their snow boots and heavy coats…. …only to have eight more inches dump overnight. That too will melt over the next week and instead of snow boots you’ll need mud boots as the puddles build. But as soon as your driveway dries out?… They’ll be more snow in the forecast. Thus begins the cycle of mud season. And hence the name. Snow and melt. Snow and melt. Rinse and repeat. So if you live on a ranch (we do) and have lots of animals (we do) and work outside (we definitely do), we do NOT recommend light colored carpets, shoes that aren’t completely waterproof (your fancy high heels would be a total fashion flub), or clothes you mind getting dirty. You quickly realize why so many homes have hardwood or tile flooring out here! (And why Carhartts come in all those dark colors….) But then again….I concede. When you think about what mud season really means, you can find the beauty in it after all. It’s one big wake-up drink for all the plants that went dormant for those long winter months. It’s a huge swell in the rivers and reservoirs that will provide water to every living thing in the county—including the hay fields that will feed our horses, the wildlife and the fish in our streams where many of you will be with your waders very soon. The bigger the mud season, the greener our summer and the more wildflowers we’ll see covering the mountainsides in just another month or two. Last summer we had no mud season at all and it was a dry dangerous summer with low water everywhere. The animals couldn’t find food and moved to lower elevations (remember the bears?) and all over there were fires and dangers of fire across the state. Any kind of open flame was prohibited for months. This year, although we’ve been dumped on and dumped on some more while the rest of the world looks on in sympathy, we are thanking the heavens and welcoming the weather no one else wants. Those of us that call this home have simply learned to adapt. The animals have to be a little tougher (all the cows are even having their babies right now!), the vehicles have to be a little sturdier, the plants a little heartier, and the people a little crazier! Ha! Mud season is essential to our way of life and the lives of all living things here. So I suppose I retract my earlier statement. It’s not “pretty” in the sense that most people think of when it comes to nature’s beauty, but for those of us who live here and know the important work all of this moisture is doing—it may be one of the most beautiful seasons we have. Without it—there wouldn’t be those incredible flowers in the Spring, those relaxing campfires in the summer or those breath-taking colors in the Fall. So YES. It’s true every season here is one of beauty—all FIVE of them. Thanks Mud Season. You do your thing. We’ll tough it out and uhh...... we will try to keep the griping on social media sites to a minimum. Here are an assortment of photos taken throughout the last month in and around the ranch. Thank you Eddie and Electra for sharing some of these as well! But perhaps the BEST part of mud season? Is that it means our 101st season is just around the corner….