Mud season has arrived and along with it comes frost-heave season. And as per frost heaves, this year’s crop is far more numerous than in previous years. Luckily, towns are out posting roads and marking frost heaves.

But mud season, not to be denied, has dealt us some pretty severe blows as well. Unpaved town roads have become seas of slick, greasy mud, making driving not only tricky but also dangerous, at least in the case of people who refuse to slow down.

It amazes me how so many drivers have a cavalier attitude regarding bad road conditions. These people drive way too fast and subject themselves to any number of possible unpleasant results. So in the interest of everyone’s well-being, the next time you find yourself on a dangerous road, please slow down. Your vehicle will thank you, other drivers and pedestrians will thank you and of course, I will thank you.

Perchin’ prediction

Ice-fishing season winds down now, with a little over one week to go. But despite having well over 30 inches of ice on some lakes and ponds, warm weather, fog and rain can cause the ice to become compromised, honeycombed and dangerous.

I once broke through despite having well over two feet of ice. It looked safe but it wasn’t. Fortunately, I managed to roll on the ice while going down and thus saved myself. Suffice it to say, great caution is necessary for anyone heading out for this last week of ice fishing.

As for me, I’m happy to wait the 10 remaining days until open-water fishing in streams and rivers begins on April Fool’s Day (a fitting time for those who walk through snow and mud in order to catch a few small trout from some hidden rivulet).

And speaking of fishing, my publisher tells me that “Getting Your Big Fish – Trolling in Maine” will hit the stands sometime this April. The book is a compilation of hints, tips and suggestions garnered from a life spent on lakes and ponds, trolling for trout, salmon and togue.

Under the feeder

It’s spring and songbirds and other avian friends are returning to the north for the warm season. New arrivals around my part of Waldo include grackles, robins and a lone mourning dove. But many more birds are on the way, so here’s a request. Please write me with your sighting(s) of returning birds and I’ll run it in this column.

One bird to look for is hard to miss. Turkey vultures follow the retreating snowpack north and the big, carrion-eating birds surveil highways such as Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 1, looking for roadkilled animals (TV, or “turkey vulture” dinners). You can tell turkey vultures from eagles because TVs hold their wings up in a dihedral, whereas eagles hold their wings on a flatter plane.

While not related to birds, I must note that coltsfoot is now in bloom. These dandelion-like flowers prefer sunny, south-facing banks. Coltsfoot is the first flower of spring.

Weekly quote

Here’s a tribute to the month of March:

“Ah! Passing few are those who speak

Wild stormy month in praise of thee,

Yet though the winds are loud and bleak

Thou art a welcome month to me.” — Bryant