Monday, February 20, 2017

Maple Syrup Season has Started

It's still February and it's warm outside.

Two years ago when we first started tapping trees today's low was about - 28F. That's MINUS. So the high probably was in the single digits. There was no tapping trees till mid March or thereabouts. Last year it was also in March I believe. But this year.... the high at our house on Saturday was 59.9, yesterday it was 55.5. Today it's only 43 but it's supposed to climb back up tomorrow and possibly get into the 60s Wednesday. This is April weather. Next week we may get back to March weather, before March. It's very weird.

But Hal has taken advantage of it and has the 3 lines all tapped up the driveway in the section we call "the Oaks". He's also bought more tubing and spiles and added 2 more lines. Yesterday he collected 28 gallons of sap and boiled it down to around 2.5 quarts of syrup. He's got 2 boils going on the back deck which I am watching while he is out checking lines and hitting the hardware store for stuff to make things easier.

He decommissioned the line behind the house. It's so deep in the swamp it starts late and it's hard to get to. The 5 lines currently in use he can get to with the tractor where he can fill a barrel with sap and bring it home. Then he siphons it into smaller buckets that can be carried upstairs to the "sugar shack". It's a much better arrangement then carting the coolers home one by one and then having to bring them back. Fewer trips, less work, he's happier. So I'm happier.

I've already added another 2 gallons to the boil in the last hour. We should get twice as much syrup tonight by the time we're done.

Cool beans.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

I'm Making a Poncho!

I've never had one, I've sort of always wanted one but not something that reeks of the 1970's or something out of a Clint Eastwood movie, though technically, those were probably serapes. This one is teal blue in color though you can't tell from my photo. It's almost half done though this photo only shows 1/4. But here it is as of a couple days ago. Heck I only started 3 days ago and haven't worked on it as often as I would like. It's amazing how other things have to get done first, like grocery shopping, eye exams, housework, etc.
front bottom half
The whole front side is done and I'm working on the identical back half then I stitch them together and add a border. Exciting! heh, heh

Oh it's the Let's Party Poncho from

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Old Man in the Cedar

I don't cross country ski, snow shoeing is hard (and I screwed up my left knee 6 days ago), we don't have a snow mobile, I wouldn't risk the ice fishing after the warm spell we had (and I don't have much equipment for it anyway) so about the only thing I have going for me outside besides walking the dogs is my cameras and the dull gray days we had been having didn't help, so how to amuse myself? Seeing weird things in the swamp.
On a cedar I have passed hundredds of times and never noticed

He added a beret over night
Both were taken with my Panazonic FZ300. He looks grumpy.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

I Like my New Cameras So Far

I haven't had much opportunity to take many outdoor photos as the weather has been lousy. No sun and for the last few days the weather has been so warm we have had fog every day, But here are a few photos from last week when we had a couple days with an hour or so of sunlight.

The first two were taken with my new FZ300.
dead birch

an oak on neighbor's land
 These 2 were taken with my ZS50. I slitghtly enhanced the color.
Sunrise at the edge of Mud Lake
Slightly zoomed sunrise

Thursday, January 12, 2017

What's Been Happening?

This is sort a catch up post, probably won't be that detailed but more of a list of things that have happened or are going on etc., whatever I can think of in the next half hour before I go to bed.

In no particular order.

Tonight one of my upper right molars, one that had a root canal and that broke a year ago and was rebuilt and recrowned by my dentist the first time it broke, fell out. Knew it would happen, just didn't know when. I have opted to get an implant because I refuse to need dentures some day. Have to pay fot this whole thing myself as we don't have dental insurance. Ah well, it's a lot of money.

Bought a used small camera last month from a guy on who at first had offered to just give me the same camera I already had because he saw my post about mine have dust on the senosr. Instead I got the Panasonic ZS-50 for a very good price. I haven't been able to do too much with the camera outside because of extremely lousy weather in th month I've owned it but I'll keep trying. Here's a photo I took with it.
metal chicken on the plastic tree
My younger sister and her BF and Lyra were here for 2 weeks at Christmas. We had a very good time. There was food and the men hunted and there was more food. Looking forward to their next visit.

I bought another camera Sunday night and it was delivered yesterday. This one is the Panasonic FZ300. It's almost one  f-stop faster than what I had, 2.8, is weather sealed and has been getting very good reviews. I've seen lots of excellent photos. It's not perfect but for a fixed lens camera with a 600mm zoom for the price I got it for, I'm pretty happy. The weather has been lousy of course, but I managed to go outside with it and take a few photos but they're still in the camera so there won't be any here tonight.

We're dumping DISH as our internet service provider and switching to Exede. Ever since we both got Windows 10 installed on our laptops, the only reason I can think of, we run out of bandwidth less than a week into each month and end up with our download speeds throttled down to somewhere around 128 kbps. It's ridiculous. Five, 5, GB a month? We can't watch you tubes, photo heavy sites are killers. I take photos I am a member of a photo heavy site, both Hal and I are on Facebook. Exede claims we will get 150 GB a month for barely much more. So hopefully, they come tomorrow and internet will be fun to use again.

I bought a shock collar for Ziggy. He has been bad. I won't go into the things he has done but I determined in mid December it was the only thing left to try. It is my second brand, the first was dead in the water when I got it. The new one works great. It has a beep mode, a vibration and the shock. I have not used the shock once. not once! The beep works. I've used the vibration a couple of times and now it's just hit the beep and he comes running. No more screaming my head off for him to come. He's such a well behaved boy now. I hardly even use the beep. I blame the stubborn beagle half of him for having to resort to this but it works. Now Luna is less well behave on our walks.

Okay, it's possible the satellite person could be here at 8 am so I must head to bed.

Good night and Happy New Year!