05 February 2014

Pataugeant dans la gadoue

« Gadoue » is a good word, and it certainly describes what we have to deal with right now. In everyday language, la gadoue [lah gah-DOO] means la boue [lah BOO] — mud. Or muck. Instead of a real winter, all 2014 has brought us is a very long mud season.

Looking up the hill past our garden shed and toward two of our neighbors' houses

The big excavating machine they brought in to remove the utility pole that stood on the northwest corner of our yard didn't help matters. Its wide metal treads mashed down the green grass and pressed all the water and mud up to the surface, producing — yes — even worse gadoue, and right outside our back gate.

Callie and I like to walk down this hill on the tractor path in the afternoon. It's a slippery slope right now.

It's not only squishy but it's very slippery. I have to step very carefully when I walk down the hill toward the bottom of the vineyard. The soil is mostly clay, and you know what that's like when it's wet. We're expecting more rain today and tomorrow — another storm is moving in off the Atlantic Ocean this morning.

The pole in the distance is the last one standing. It's in the middle of a plot of vines so not easy to take down.

Imagine, however, how nice this mud slick will be in a few months when grass grows over it all. Especially now that the utility pole is gone. Where Callie is standing is about the limit of our property, even though that spot is outside our fence. I think I might plant a tree back here this spring — or next fall, if this rainy weather continues into April.

The overflow from the pond out back flows down this so-called "road" all winter.

Oh, the verb « patauger » [pah-toh-ZHAY] means "to wade" — wading in mud is what it feels like we are doing when we go out the back gate. The whole vineyard is mud and muck, but no other place is as bad as this right now. It's time for me to go out there....


  1. Looks like quite a mess. Wish you could send your rain over here -- we are in a serious drought.

    Looking forward to following your photos in the upcoming months to see what the mud turns in to.

  2. Add wet and sloppy cow manure to it, and welcome to my childhood.

  3. Those words even sound squishy and mucky.

  4. California is in a horrendous drought, you guys are in gadoue all winter, and we're snowed in again. Sheeeeesh.

  5. I wonder if your gadoue is related to our word gradoo- hmm that word must be slang. It fits your muddy world well.

  6. What a lovely word! I too am sick & tired of mud, grey skies and gales. I'm beginning to dream of sunnier climes. Roll on spring! Sharon

  7. http://youtu.be/18msKRflbzs la gadoue la gadoue la gadoue .....

  8. That does look rather nasty!


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