Could it be climate change?

It hit me hard a couple of days ago. We didn’t have Mud Season. This is southern Maine and we didn’t have Mud Season. Usually it starts March and keeps going for weeks. Then there are a couple days of Spring. If I remember Spring lasted several weeks. First cut started early in June with strings of perfect sunny days to cure and bale. Summer starts in mid-July and runs through mid-August. No one - horse or human - was in muck up to their knees. Shoes weren’t pulled off hooves and lost. Your boots stayed on both feet. The mucky surfaces by the gates dried out in May. The run-outs attached to the stalls didn’t get mucky and slippery.

When I picked up grain this afternoon I asked the warehouse guy if he noticed - no mud season. While half the country was trying to tolerate record heat I had to find some winter jammies and an extra blanket. I wasn’t going to turn on the heat. Too expensive.

This could be why I have been disoriented. I’m retired. From time to time it is Saturday three days in a row. I have to check the time and day of the week when I get up.

At least the horses don’t care as long as they eat.


Yes, it is most likely climate change. I have friends in Maine and northern NH who race sled dogs. They have markedly less snow in the winter now than they used to. No snow, means no snow pack to melt and cause mud season. It may also just be drier overall, but I don’t have any actual info on that front.


We had Spring mud, but nowhere near as long as usual.
Now we’re heading toward drought.
Temps for the last month have been bouncing between 90s & 80s.
Which, as the relentlessly cheerful forecasters keep reminding me :unamused:, is unusual.
Yup, smells like Climate Change to me.


SE Michigan here. We had a horrible mud season this year, just like normal. Dried out on a normal schedule, but we haven’t had more than a few days in a row without rain. The barn I board at hasn’t gotten their first cut of hay down even. Others in the area started to bale only last week. :frowning:

North Shore MA here. We had a relatively rainy, as opposed to snowy, winter, followed by epic mud and a lot more rain, but we are now in a drought. The same river that I could not ride my horse through for most of last year due to flooding is now just below her knees.

Weather is current conditions, climate is average conditions over a LONG period of time.

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Maybe we got your mud season in addition to our own mud season here in Vermont this year. :wink: It was an awful one, which actually started earlier and lasted longer than typical for us. That too was likely due to climate change and the way the ground froze (or didn’t) this winter. Estimates are now that Vermont/Northern New England will have a month less of true winter in just a couple of decades. Scary to think about how much change that will mean for what it means to be a Vermonter.

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Good luck with that. The lack of mud season in some areas will lead to hay shortages. I hope you guys are OK. Actually, I hope all my horse friends’ horses are OK.


Northern MA here. Most years I cannot ride in my grass ring until the first week of June because of mud. I have been schooling in our grass ring this year since early May.

Our adjacent lake has record high water. While we dodged the mud season (sort of), we’ve gotten plenty of rain this spring. What really seems to impact mud season is the amount of snow and the snowpack. We hardly had much snow at all this winter.

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I live in a region that normally gets more annual rainfall than Seattle, and we haven’t had our mud season the last two years. It is alarming. I thought if any place would be relatively safe from extreme weather due to climate change, it would be the Pacific Northwest. After the heat dome of last summer, I have lost a lot of my optimism.


I am in Middle TN, and if we had a mud season this year, it was brief and almost nonexistent. We normally get a fair amount of precipitation throughout the winter, and get boot sucking mud for a few weeks. We had none of that.

We are heading towards drought conditions. We have not had rain for over 2 weeks, and I am starting to worry about wildfires. Our pastures are rapidly turning brown and are already brittle and dry.

Last real rain was September 2021, only a couple of snows and showers since.
We have yet to green up this year, all is out there is old dried up grasses from last year’s growth.
We even had our own prairie fire, that we thankfully could sniff out, the road stopped it long enough for the fire trucks to get there.
Everyone here is having fires one place or other.

Waiting for a change in the patterns.
NWS said La Nina will last as far as they can predict, that is next fall.
We are in an official extreme drought right now.
Beene there before, too early to tell if it is a normal changing weather or global warming and it doesn’t matter, is still a drought


I don’t buy the whole climate change theory but that is just me.

I do believe that the climate cycles and does change for a time and will probably cycle back again.

We are colder now then we ever used to be in Winter. 13 years ago my goats had babies in Jan with no issues. Now I have problem with hypothermia risks in March??? I am contemplating moving kidding to mid- April now…

We also don’t have normal rainfalls. Everything we get is a monsoon and we get inches at a time, from Feb-May. Getting crops planted or hay planted is near impossible and getting enough dry weather in May - June to even start hay is hit and miss anymore.

Things have changed but I bet after we are gone they will eventually cycle around there just won’t be anyone around who remembers what normal is supposed to be.


Well, we keep records, so… That’s how we know what is happening, and that climate change is real.


I didn’t say it wasn’t changing. I agree it isn’t the same as it has been in my lifetime. I am saying I don’t believe it is changing forever. More like going through cycles that may take decades before it revolves back to what we may remember as " normal".

Not because we drive cars, burn coal and use spray cans etc…

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  1. Nobody said it would change forever.
  2. You are wrong about our impacts. They may not be all the impacts, but they certainly account for a considerable – and unnecessary! – portion of the change, up to and including an existential threat.
  3. It’s not because the earth is diving into the sun.

It all depends on who you look to for your information. We see things differently.

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Nope. Who one looks to for information has absolutely NOTHING to do with what is actually happening to the planet. It obviously has something to do with how you may think about it. But not the facts of the matter.


Yes some of us choose to listen to the drumbeat of overwhelming evidence from the vast majority of the scientific community rather than disbelieve our own senses as to what we INTUITIVELY SENSE about the changing climate. If it makes you feel better to stick your head in the sand and cherry pick some profit-seeking outliers to mislead you, that’s obviously your choice. But you, and especially your children and grandchildren if you have them, will have to deal with this eventually.


Basically yes. Climate changes, we might be making a difference but since climate changed well before we became upright, and changed between then and now, shows that weather does indeed have its own cycles.

We were wet. Wet wet wet. So much wet. Way more rain than normal, on top of a colder winter with more snow than average. But just like that, I think summer and the accompanying nice weather (ie, drought conditions) is here, with no real spring. The joke is we went from Mayvember and Junetober to summer. Planting was hard, I waited too long for some things and I suspect my corn won’t/didn’t germinate for whatever reason… planted 20 days ago, no starts, so I’m going to go on top and plant with sunflowers because I can, when I do the good big look later today. But potatoes are crazy happy, go figure. I’m hoping the carrots do as well.

My hay has always been done around July 4th. I think he planned this way again this year, but I just mowed my paddocks, which had roughs that were the same height as the hay, and that stuff was still crazy wet underneath, so he may push it a week despite the hay being at seed right now and chest high in places.