I doubt anyone could possibly complain about today's weather. This is our second day of real spring-like temperatures with sunshine, and the snow is taking a beating. The snow is pulling away from tree trunks and in the road there's lots of slush and water running - no ditches open yet, but we're happy to see progress in the right direction.
I really enjoyed my walk today. The snow was perfect for snow balls and snowmen. I hope kids everywhere were out having fun building forts and having snowball fights. Of course it's going to cool down, especially by the weekend, but this is the first day I think the ice might be melting instead of growing. Fred talked to our neighbor, Ralph Bissell, who had been fishing yesterday (he was the guy sitting on a bucket in the background when WCAX shot pictures during their interview with Diane Rossi about the Ice-Out). Ralph told Fred it took all of his auger to reach the water when he drilled his fishing hole. And incidentally, he was disappointed that he only caught two small perch. He estimated the depth of ice to be about 32 inches, more or less. I was guessing at least 3 feet, but then, I haven't been out on the ice - just figured with all the below-zero weather it would be really, really thick. One of our most consistent ice fishermen, Everett, was "fishing smelt up north" today, according to a source at the store.
Joyfully, today we've been melting, not making, ice. It will be good if the days can be in the 40s and nights below freezing for a few weeks to give the sugar makers a break. We had a gusty west wind today that really made it feel like sugar weather. I watched a TV show the other night - it was a new one, "Battle Creek" - and they seemed to be tapping trees that were fully leaved. Maybe I missed something - I admit I dozed off from time to time. They were trying to make "first class maple syrup like Vermont's." It was nice to hear the plug for Vermont, though.
The interview on WCAX yesterday with Diane brought us a flurry of activity selling tickets on line, and locally people are starting to think seriously about the Ice-Out contest and tickets are in demand at Hastings Store, at least. We hope our other outlets are doing well, too. We have tickets at various locations in Barre and Montpelier (see the web site for a complete list), also at both stores in Cabot, Diane Cochran's in Walden, Marty's in Danville, and Caplans, St. Jay Hardware, Thurston-Dimick on Memorial Drive and Natrual Provisions in St. Johnsbury. Natural Provisions in Williston has already sold lots of tickets for us, too. We are very fortunate to have so many great merchants willing to sell our Ice-Out Contest tickets. It's hard to believe we're so close to the end of the contest - April 1st will be here before we know it. In the meantime, we welcome the spring weather and hope it lasts. We've all seen enough snow and cold for this year.