Today has been a bit colder than earlier in the week, but was still above freezing all day. Tonight we're at about 25 degrees, and if it warms up tomorrow, there should be a sap run. Today we had a cutting cold wind out of the north, so probably not much of a sap day.
Last night we were with some Joe's Pond friends, Bill and Diane Rossi, Don and Diane Sherwood and Fella and Nancy Buttura. We had dinner at the Sherwood's - always a very enjoyable evening, and great food. We were talking about the big boom lots of us heard last weekend - the Sherwoods weren't here then, but Diane Rossi said she had heard it, observed there was no hole in their house, so they calmly went to bed; Fred and I both jumped up and raced out onto the deck to see if there was any sign of an explosion anywhere on the pond then we called the state police; Nancy said she was pretty sure Fella fell out of his chair. Fella denied it, but we all admit it was a really loud noise, and of course now we know it was a sonic boom caused by one of our Vermont Air National Guard planes on practice maneuvers. We enjoyed meeting the very nice young state trooper, a native of Hardwick, who came to investigate. I've heard older folks sometimes report strange things just so someone will visit them - that wasn't the case with us, we really thought there might have been a plane crash or one of our neighbors had an explosion of some kind.
The big topic of conversation last night as well as nearly everywhere we went this morning in West Danville and Danville, was about the ice and whether it would last until the close of the contest on April 1st. Honestly, we don't know, but we do know that lots of people are hurrying to get their tickets in because they know that if the clock stops before April 1st, ticket sales will stop and we will not accept any that haven't already been turned in.
Caplans Army Store in St. Johnsbury was sold out of tickets today and Hastings called this afternoon and had only six left - I can't tell you how many hundreds of tickets they've sold this year, but I do know I've taken several bundles of 100 to them in the past couple of weeks. Not all have came back to us yet, and that has us a little worried - we don't want anyone to be left out of the game, and that will happen if the block sinks and the clock stops before April 1st and they haven't sent in their tickets or given them to one of our outlets. So please make your best guess and get your ticket(s) to us, just in case the unthinkable happens and we have to cut the contest short.
Here's a report on ice conditions: When we were in West Danville this morning, I noticed there is
open water in the narrows between the first two ponds reaching almost to opposite the beach (top picture). Between the middle and third, or largest pond, the narrows are open well into the middle pond (second picture).
We think mud season has surely arrived - last night we got fairly mired in mud at the Sherwood's, probably leaving Don with some mega ruts to fill in his parking area today - for which I apologize most sincerely. With lots of arm waving and shouting directions, Don and Fella guided us out of the mud hole and onto more or less solid ground. Later in the evening we made it the rest of the way along Old Homestead Road without any problems - just lots of mud puddles and a few minor ruts; but along Routes 15 and 2 we were driving in very dense fog. When we turned onto West Shore Road, it was hard to see the mud holes because of the fog, but the road itself is still pretty good. It gets less sun than on the other side, so is still frozen under two or three inches of mud. Our turn will come, no doubt. Spring is definitely here. Time to set the clocks ahead this weekend!