After a brief breath of beautiful late winter warmth, we had a blast of late winter blizzard. The lamb and lion of March. The excitement of March is in the combined anticipation of spring and the nostalgia of winter. Although we’ve had a harder winter than most can recall, it’s hard to release skiing, snowshoeing, hot fires, and all the pleasures of a cold day and a warm hearth. Paul and I were able to combine the benefits of both with all sorts of early spring sap, an evaporator and a back drop of wild winter storm. I am still dedicated to my day job, but the onslaught of a blizzard and the benefits of a little vacation time permitted me to participate.
As the temperatures fell from the high 20’s to the mid-teens, the wind howled and the snow blasted around the sap house, we fired up the evaporator and got to work. It was quite a sight as the steam boiled off the sap and the snow blew through. In fact it was often hard to even locate Paul through the haze of blowing snow and swirling clouds of evaporated sap. We emptied all of our first days of spring collection into this first boil and were gratified by the fragrant steam and the crystal sap evolving to an amazing amber hue. The raging storm prevented us from heading into the forest to collect what managed to be collected before the temperatures dropped, but we enjoyed this first foray into the spring syrup production.
Tomorrow…cold. Friday…beautiful. A little more up and down for the next week, but we will use this time to collect sap when it flows, tap a few more trees, and iron the kinks out of the system. Paul will be playing a full repertoire of Irish tunes with the band he plays in—Quill & Plow—on Saturday at the local Irish Festival and a local eatery. I will be heading to the Big City on Sunday for a couple days of law work. Jeri will be finalizing some designs and other artistic pursuits. Hoping to pull all the threads together next week!
Stay warm. Dream big. Learn from the falls. Cherish the blessings.