July 24, 2019

They Say It’s Mud Season…Somewhere

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Harbinger of Spring

A recent report from Maine’s Eleazar Peabody:

Tom;

              Albany, Maine 3-26-18    Tracks of the rare and mostly unseen, Mud Runt, were glimpsed this morning on a walk down the driveway.  With all the melt from the recent Nor’easters, I was surprised to see the tracks so soon. I am still trying to get an updated photo of the Mud Runt, but to no such luck.  Biologists are now wondering if the Mud Runt is having an effect on the woodcock population, which is trending down over the last few years.  The woodcock usually start showing up in the last week of March, and may now be on the Runt’s diet.  I’ll post a file photo of the New England Mud Runt to help those looking for this wary creature.  EP
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For Mainers, Sighting of Mud Runt Official Notice of Spring

Greenwood, Maine 4-01-17     The rare and mostly unseen, Mud Runt, was glimpsed late last week.  The spring melt was progressing nicely, and many mud holes were opening up.  The roads are all posted to prohibit heavy truck traffic, and hopes of lovely flowers danced in many heads.  But the April Fools Day snow storm put the damper on hopes of seeing more of the reptilian wonders.  We here, will still try to get more pictures and sightings of this amazing denizen of “Mud Season”.  EP

However, the following weather forecast certain bids doom and gloom for the sought-after Mud Runt.

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It’s Official! Spring Returns to Maine

I received the following report from the master of all things Maine. Eleazar Peabody has the inside and outside scope on everything that happens “naturally” in Maine…probably unnaturally as well. He’s better than any farmer’s almanac and certainly no weather scientist can hold a candle to his weather and climate predictions.

Eleazar Peabody reports:

“Mr. Tom;

                  Earlier this week I spotted the first Mud Runts of the season.  They looked quite healthy and seemed in good spirits.  They were cavorting in a wet spot just off the Patch Mountain Road, near Greenwood City, Maine.  They disappeared quite quickly when they saw my broad smile and caught sight of Ole Brinker…Cheers and Happy Spring!!
                 Eleazer Peabody”
MudRunt2016
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Mud Runts Kick Off Official Start of Spring

What does Punxsutawney Phil know about when Spring arrives in Maine? Nothing! Only two people, that I am away of, have the uncanny ability of seeking and finding the first emergence of an “official” Maine Mud Runt.

Ron Fournier, owner of Orion Outfitters appears to have been the first to sight a Runt. He wrote me:

“Just last week during the brief warm up, we took just enough time off from ice fishing to check some of the streams and trout ponds in search for early season open water trout fishing spots. As I walked the banks of the West Branch of the Pleasant River, deep in the National Forest I saw not one but two Runts! Each only about 12” long, sunning themselves on a distant branch that poked from the water. Their impeccable hearing was no match for the crunch of my snowshoes and they soon disappeared before I could get the camera.

But what was even more promising, and concerning…I then departed to pull off one of our ice shacks off of North Pond. The edges of the lake are getting a little punky and open in some spots. As I approached the ice, there in the slush was the telltale sign of a mud runt slowly coming out of hibernation!

This one was much larger, and it’s black beady eyes were quite visible above the surface. The distinct “croak” followed by 3 short whistles seldom heard from a mud runt quickly let me know that he wasn’t in the mood to move anytime quick. Not knowing how many more lurked in the slush and mud, I decided to leave the shack for another day.

Be careful out there folks, and if you can get a photo please do so. The state still does not recognize this invasive species as having a foothold in Maine.”

Eleazer Peabody, “noted” Maine storyteller and keeper of some of Maine’s best secrets, evidently has not yet spied on his own the coming out of hibernation of the Mud Runts. His only comment, upon hearing Ron’s discovery was:

“Here it is to be in the forty’s all day and overnight above freezing!! Certainly a day of some celebration….”

A man of wisdom and few words – and probably fed up with winter.

mudrunts2010

Stock Photo
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Official Notice: Mud Runts Have Been Spotted

Yes it’s true! Spring is really here, a mud runt was spotted this morning in Albany Township just before seven o’clock. It was of normal size and seemed to be quite healthy from a long snowy, cold winter…hurrahhhhh….

Eleazer Peabody

mudrunts2010
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