I had a nice note from Mary Whitcomb - haven't heard from her for a while, and it was great that she got in touch. Mary said the little poem I posted about how sap runs best reminded her of one she enjoyed, so she shared the link with me. Turn on your speakers. POEM.
That was funny, and it reminded me of the first year Fred and I lived year around at Joe's Pond. Come spring, we decided it would be fun to make our own syrup. It wasn't about the cost of syrup - well, maybe a little - I think it was really more that the farmer in me took over, and all those maple trees on the hillside where Chatot Road is now were an irresistible challenge. We bought a few used buckets and some spouts and tapped half a dozen trees or so. It all went very well except it was a really good year for sap and I don't think Fred appreciated having to gather sap every night after we got home from work. The snow was deep and we didn't have snowshoes - he just waded through the deep snow with a big pail sloshing sap.
We boiled it on the electric stove and even with doors and windows open, the steam collected in the camp so everything was moist - there was wall paper that loosened and the furniture got sticky. I'm sure it cost far more for electricity to boil that sap into syrup than it would have cost to buy it. I don't remember how much we made, not a lot but enough to give a little taste to our parents and we had some for ourselves. We never did it again, though. I don't think we even discussed it - it was just understood. Neither again.
Mary Whitcomb said she's enjoying watching large flocks of grackles, starlings and red-winged blackbirds at her house. I haven't seen any of those, but I did hear the crows making a big fuss this morning when I went for my walk. I suspect mating season for them is coming soon. They're a raucous bunch almost any time of year except when on the nest - then they keep pretty quiet so the nest won't be discovered by predators. I remember when I was a kid looking forward to the first crows, usually during sugaring; but now I see crows around all winter.
Anyway, thanks to Mary for sharing.