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Just Outside My Door 04/11/13

April 17, 2013
By ELAINE G. COLE - COLUMNIST ( , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

We had slow improvement weather-wise last week, and the sunshine we got melted much of the snow in our yard, but the steps and flowerbed just outside our garage door still had a covering of snow.

One 30-degree morning I went out there to swept off the steps and flowerbed, and, to my surprise, bright purple crocuses and delicate little snow drops almost covered the bed. Apparently the snow served as a blanket keeping the bulbs warm enough to send the shoots above ground, and the flowers had bloomed. Later I found daffodils about three inches high in the north border along with some remaining snow. I wondered if spring had really arrived.

Spring or not, I'm anxious to start planting a few seeds in the little grow kit I purchased over a month ago, although I buy the majority of my annual flowers from my neighbors, the Miller's, greenhouse. I love seeing the little green shoots that will pop up in the container. Although they don't always turn out well, it's a good way to start spring inside.

Speaking of the new season, since the snow is melting, we already have mud in many places. It can be found in some driveways, in pastures and especially in barn lots. About the only things I remember about mud is it makes a mess when it's tracked into a house and that means more work for moms. Nevertheless, I remember well how we kids liked to make mud pies, as did our children and grandkids. I also recall taking small children for a walk on a dirt road after a rainstorm. They never missed a mud puddle. It seems like when I told them not to get in it, it only reminded them to do just that. I think I should have said, "Go play in it." Maybe they would have avoided it.

Speaking of mud, have you ever seen a mudslide? I haven't, but when we were driving home from Florida, we were stopped on the road in West Virginia because of a mudslide. There were many other cars, and for about an hour and a half traffic was almost stopped. When we finally got moving again, it was dark so we never saw anything.

Since I had never heard much about such an event, I looked up some information on mudslides. Mudslides are caused following a long time of heavy rain in mountains or very high terrain. The warm lubricant works its way through the soil loosening it thereby causing the mudslide. It often happens around early spring. It is the cause of 20 to 50 deaths each year.

On January 10, 2005 there was a mudslide in La Conchita, Calif. It began with a loud rumble and sent thousands of tons of mud destroying 15 houses, trees and anything in its path. It also caused 21 deaths. Thankfully haven't ever heard of a mudslide in our area, though perhaps one did occur in years past.



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