Mud bath

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Texture.’ See more responses here.

We had a lot of rain here last week, not tropical downpours, but steady, continuous rain. Along the coast, this turned parts of the dirt road into mud baths. Areas to be avoided, right? Not if you’re a mudder, someone for whom heavy rain is an excuse, a calling even, to drive their 4×4 trucks to the area and carve figure eights into the morass.

The top photo shows an area where this activity is particularly popular. The original grassless patch was about half the size of that in the photo. For walkers, it’s not quite so inviting. It’s easy to lose footing in the slick, squishy mud. And if the rain continues, this mud will wash down into the ocean affecting coastal habitat for fish and other marine life.

Fast forward past a couple of days of sunnier weather and the ground is very different. Most of the mud has dried. Those spatters sprayed around the edges of the mud bath are now nubbly, crunchy lumps in the grass. Anyone driving or walking in this area will crush those lumps into dust and when the wind blows, as it does here most of the time, that dust will blow into the ocean, etc., etc..

But it might rain again before it all blows away, except … well, you get the picture.

10 thoughts on “Mud bath

    1. Cathy W

      Not all 4×4 drivers are bad! Most of us enjoy taking our vehicles in the mud, sand, & dirt, but we also spend a lot of time educating others, taking care of the spaces we like to play, and work hard to fix the damage others do! It is the few inconsiderate ones who give the rest of us a bad name… (It’s not unlike mountain bikers, either!) Please don’t lump us good ones in with the bad. 🙂

      I love the wet mud & dry mud photos! Such a difference a little water can make. Thanks, Graham!

      Liked by 3 people

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      1. Graham Post author

        I wasn’t intending this as a blanket statement, but it’s pretty much guaranteed that, when it rains hard, this area will get torn up. There’s another spot down the coast where erosion control measures are in place, mostly in the form of straw sausages pegged across runoff channels. Despite these efforts that’s a favorite spot for mountain bikers, dirt bikes and the occasional four-wheeler. I have in the past politely spoken with people about the erosion issue and my input hasn’t been well received.
        Part of the problem is that there aren’t many options for ‘mudders.’ This is a rural island, but a lot is privately owned and there aren’t public facilities for those activities.

        Liked by 1 person

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        1. Cathy W

          That’s a bummer that your concerns weren’t well-received. I’m sorry to hear that! Erosion is a big deal on the coast. There is only one road that connects us to Anchorage, and that was almost cut off a couple years ago when erosion took out a hillside. They’ve reinforced the cliff, but the road still seems awfully close to the edge. I’m not sure how many more years until they’ll have to move the road. Maybe you’re lucky that the inconsiderate mudders focus on one spot to tear up? (I know, that’s a pretty dim silver lining, but I try to find the positive! LOL – or maybe you could convince one of those private land owners to open a small portion up for recreational use. Charge a small fee. Income for the owner and lighten up the damage in other places!) 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

          Reply
          1. Graham Post author

            Erosion is a problem in a lot of places. When it rains heavily here we often get slides of one kind or another. If I take the long view it doesn’t really matter that much. As the island drifts northwest on its tectonic plate, like the islands in the northwest chain, it will start eroding until it finally disappears below the ocean. That will take care of everything!

            Liked by 1 person

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