Tuesday, March 5, 2013

It's March Mudness!


Yes.  March Mudness.  Late winter in northern New England = March Mudness.

Yesterday, I took a short walk down our road... (glop, glop, glop, through the mud).

I landed right here in front of the neighbor's sugaring tank.  (Sap for syrup!)  It's not only mud season, it's maple season, too!  When the day time temps are above freezing, but the night time temps still dip below 32 degrees; that's prime sap running weather...

This set-up is right at the edge of the road, but those lines tap trees deep into the woods far behind any houses.  When we scale those rocks behind our house (I've posted pics of those before), we come upon a clearing.  Then, as we  head deeper into the woods, there's a large section of trees tapped that run down to this tank.  It's like a maze of sap tubes!

Here is something interesting...

...Bits of an online article by Greg Gerdel

It's that time of year again... "sugarin' season." Hundreds of "sugar houses" dot the Vermont woods, more than 2,500 statewide. Many of them welcome visitors and provide a genuine attraction in virtually every part of the state. Some are high-tech, making use of the latest innovations to produce high-quality, pure Vermont maple syrup. Others are very much the way they were 50 or 100 years ago, relying on trusted equipment and the craftsman-like skill of the sugar maker.
Boiling maple sap is an exciting activity to watch. On crisp, cold spring evenings after the sap has been running all day, the sugar house looks, from a distance, as though it is on fire. Closer inspection reveals steam, not smoke, billowing from not only the chimney but through every door and crack in the building. The light inside is diffused by steam which has an enticing, sweet aroma that teases the senses. The warmth coming from the evaporator, the large pan the sap is boiled in, draws visitors from the chilly night outside.
The typical maple season lasts four to six weeks, sometimes starting as early as February in southern Vermont and lasting into late April in northern Vermont. Sugaring season can be enjoyed no matter where you are in Vermont.
To make really good quality syrup, the sap must be boiled down as soon as possible after it is drawn from the tree. During a good "run," it is common for sugar makers to be up all night boiling as they work to reduce the sap, which is about 2-3 percent sugar, to syrup which is 88-89 percent sugar. It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. In an average year Vermont produces more than 570,000 gallons of maple syrup, with a value of more than $12-million.
Forty years are required to grow a maple tree large enough to tap. A tree ten inches in diameter is considered minimum tappable size for one tap. For each additional six inches in diameter, another tap may be added. It takes four to five taps to produce enough maple sap for one gallon of syrup.

Slick and Willie's (the horses) owners have told us we should stop by if we see them in the sugar house.  I think we'll make it a point to head that way some day soon and see if we catch them at the right time.  Sounds like fun (and interesting)!

- - - - -

Beech leaves are winter-long cling-ons; and I'm glad.  I think they make pretty winter scenery.

Our early March yard.  Still much snow.

Still... I bet it's just a few weeks before we see Spring's first blooms.  Can't wait!  This was taken on March 30th last year.

- - - - -

How about some cute pics of the kids?

She was so busy playing at the coffee table.

And delighted with herself.

And back to her serious play.  (Drooley-drooler is cutting molars!)

This darling was watching the shutter close in my camera lens.

There's something about this shot.  I can almost see the grown-up Kingston...
and how the girls who crush on him will get lost in those amazing eyes!

Hmmm... yemme sink about that... (I don't remember what we asked him.)

"Yeah, I did see it close!"

Her close up.

Him close up.

Such beautiful children. {swooning gramma}

Kingston had a turn with my camera and took a few shots of Kaelyn (all on his own).  This one's not bad!

It's interview day at the PA program (one of four for the incoming class).  We have 16 nervous candidates vying for a seat in the program.  Interview days are always hectic... but interesting.

Happy March  [whatever]ness where you are!

Linking up with Clever Chicks Blog Hop.

1 comment:

Mom said...

The children photos are amazing...can't even decide which are my favorite!! ...and which one do I put on my computer desktop?? Thank you Pammie for taking the shots so regularly. Keeps me somewhat involved!!