Sunday, March 30, 2014

It Must Be Spring - Making Syrup


Shana and John decided to tap our two maple trees Saturday.  This was our first year tapping trees.  The next door neighbors are keen tree tappers and were very helpful getting us started on the road to maple syrup.  

By bed-time Saturday, we had a gallon or two of sap set aside.  We started boiling it down this morning, adding more sap as the day went by.  By 5:00 pm (and we started at 7:00 am) we had filled the mason jar seen in the photo.  By 9:30 we had another small jam jar full.  We are quite pleased.  Lots of folks complain how hard it is - hours of onerous boiling of sap only to come up with a pittance, but this seems like a fine amount of syrup for the effort.

On my walk this morning, I observed another sure sign of spring – the return of Red-winged blackbirds. My birding skills have atrophied to the point where I can’t say this is the first time I’ve observed them this year.  In the past, I was quite keen to note the arrival of certain migrating birds like the first sighting of a blue bird, or the familiar call of the Red-wing blackbird. 

Anyway, birding skills being what they are, I practically walked into several Red-winged black birds along the little pond at the park.  I believe the males come north first, staking out nesting territory.  They were calling and flying about the dead cattails surveying the real estate, and wondering when the hell the ice would melt. 


A few blocks from home I greeted a father pulling two little kids in a wagon.  They must have been on their way to the park.  I recall going to the park with our kids when we first moved here.  I felt sad thinking how time flies and kids grow quickly.  To hammer home the point, as I turned the corner I saw Maria come out of the house, get in the car and drive away.  Sigh – I bet she wouldn’t fit in a wagon any way.  

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