Playing In The Mud I

Ever since I was a child I have enjoyed playing in the mud. I have played in the mud for six decades ranging from wetlands of various sorts on the West coast of the US to springs in the deserts of Nevada and California to the US Gulf Coast out into the Caribbean and to the mountains of the southern Appalachians. As my wife of 51 years can tell you, I still enjoy playing in the mud.  Now that I am no longer indentured to a 9-5 yoke, I can play in the mud whenever I want. I use the term ‘mud’ loosely. Perhaps playing in the water would better describe my professional interests.  Although there has been a lot of mud in the places I have worked, there have also been some pristine waters…crystal seeps and springs and streams still clear enough to look drinkable (not a good idea these days).

Several posts back I spoke of Bat Fork Bog Plant Conservation Preserve near my home in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina. No crystal seeps or springs there…just mud and a little water and an endangered plant species. My current work has me at the toe of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in Northwestern Nevada several times each year where thermal springs bubble up from the Genoa Fault filling the air with the smell of sulfur before flowing down slope to help form a backwater wetland to the Carson River.  Water, mud, odors…ah, the stuff of life!

See the next post for information on the Groundwater Wetlands Study Group (


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