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A serious mid-January thaw turned our dirt driveway into the quagmire that usually doesn’t develop until late March or early April.
The prospect of two (or more) mud seasons this year got me to thinking about…mud.
Mud. Dirt and water. Such common stuff that it’s oozed its way into colloquial language: mud in your eye, mudslinging, stick-in-the-mud, clear as mud, muddy the waters, your name will be mud, happy as a pig in mud, splittin' the mud, dragging his name through the mud.
For centuries, humans have used local mud as a construction material, for healing, in religious purification rituals, and for many forms of recreation (Who hasn't relished making mud pies and splashing in mud puddles?)
One interesting tidbit: For decades, major and minor baseball teams have used a special rubbing mud to rough up the surface of the glossy new baseballs to make them safer to use.
Healing muds and the mud baths used in traditional healing (as well as for skin and hair care) don’t come from the back yard, but from special clay deposits.
Turns out, ordinary backyard mud has many uses, too.
Use for emergency first aid (backyard or wilderness) A cool mud compress wrapped around a sprain or a muscle strain and bound with a bandana or a rag will help cool the area and reduce swelling. A daub of mud also helps reduce the pain of a bee or wasp sting.