The sun has been shining for the past few days, and oh, what joy it has brought. Perhaps the receding mud has been my very favorite aspect of this recent sunshine.

I can once again walk out to the goat yard, gather the eggs, and head back to the sugar shed, without cautiously testing my footing with each step across the inch-deep mud.

I have not had to sweep the cabin floor twice, if not three times, daily, and I have only had to mop once in the past two days.

The dogs actually have dog-colored feet once again, no longer sporting the light brownish gray of dried creek valley mud, and when I rouse our sleeping dogs, they no longer leave behind a pile of fine mud dust that has fallen from their fur.

The chickens seem to have weathered the mud well, but they are certainly enjoying the sunshine. They are no longer having to avoid the rain, clustered under the rabbit hutches or under the picnic table on the side deck. They contentedly forage wherever they choose.

And the goats are definitely happier. Whenever I glance their way, I can see them standing proud on top of their houses or playfully climbing the fallen trees in their yard. Much like the chickens, they no longer have to seek shelter from the rain.

Over the past several wet weeks, whenever I would pass by their yard, they would call from inside their houses, plaintively baaing, as if begging for me to please make the rain stop. Today, I was happily ignored. Just now as I gathered the chicken eggs, one goat slept in the sunshine. The others were up on the hillside, contentedly foraging on newly sprouting vines.

The homing pigeons, no longer having to avoid the rain, flew far more than their three or four daily flights. Whenever I looked up, I saw them circling in formation high over the creek valley. They seemed to fly almost nonstop, returning to the coop for only a brief respite before heading out to fly again, and it occurred to me that they were making up for their many rainy-day cancellations.

Like the goats and chickens, the pigeons do not care to be out and about in the rain.

I would say, though, that the cattle are fairly oblivious to the rain and the mud. They eat their hay and grain no matter what the weather. They even seem to contentedly lie down and chew their cud as the rain falls across their backs, though it does appear that they like to lie on the older hay piles, or up in the woods, rather than lie down in the middle of the muddy field.

The little horses also do not care if it is raining or not, but I can see that they will definitely require quite a bit of my attention now. Mud covers their soon to be shedding winter coats, and mud balls are clumped on their tails.

My comb and brush are ready. This will be tomorrow’s chore, but for today, the little horses are quite happy. I saw that they were lying down in the field, soaking up the sunshine, so relaxed and motionless that I actually feared that they were dead.

It was not until I was close upon them, calling their names, that they jumped to their feet and ran to me. They reminded me that there is nothing quite like napping in the warm sunshine on a chilly spring-like day.

There is one farm creature, however, that seems to truly miss the mud and rain, and it has occurred to me that they helped to create the sea of muck that has surrounded the cabin these past few weeks. Yes, the ducks have still been waddling in their duck line across the fields, but they have not been pausing every step or two to wiggle their bills deep into the muddy soup in search of duck delicacies.

They have rather been forlornly waddling in search of lost mud puddles that were here just a few days ago. They pause and call out in what sounds like rueful laughter, only to waddle on in search of their now lost, but recently known joy. Late this afternoon, I found the ducks splashing and digging through a dwindling puddle down in the lower field, and I realized that I actually felt a wee bit sorry for them. They really do love the rain and mud, but on quick tally, I counted far more of our farm creatures, including two human inhabitants, who enjoy the sunshine, and for now, the forecast is not calling for any rain.

Christine Tailer is an attorney and former city dweller who moved several years ago, with her husband, Greg, to an off-grid farm in Ohio. Visit them on the web at