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.