Sap Rising?

Sun shining through onto the maples and sap buckets

Sun shining through onto the maples and sap buckets

I got the word yesterday that Shelburne Sugarworks, just up the road, will be holding their first Sugar on Snow Weekend this weekend. This means watching sap get boiled into syrup, plus tours of the sugarbush, samples, and sugar on snow complete with pickle and donut. I learned this on a morning that started at 9 degrees below zero.

Then I read that afternoon that the annual statewide Maple Open House Weekend is happening on March 22-23. This is great weekend to see sugaring in action and to get some syrup for the year. Last year I bought two gallons from Shelburne Sugarworks. It was not at all enough. We supplemented that throughout the year with over a gallon from other local sugar makers. This year we may need to stock up more earlier. In past years we also have attended the open house at Shelburne Farms on this weekend. They have a pancake breakfast and, well, the whole awesome farm to check out.

It was hard to believe yesterday that spring is close enough that sap will be running soon. We had several nights of below-zero temperatures. The snow is crusted right over. The wind has been blowing the loose snow into drifts. It has been downright wintry. Then today I left work and it felt sort of warm outside. The thermometer in the car read 32. Almost springlike?

I took a short walk after hanging out and sitting all day, at Wheeler Park in South Burlington. It was an easy walk on the packed snow, across a field and then into the woods. The cedars were thick at one point and then just ended with an abrupt transition into a hardwood stand, with a mix of young and old trees. Hanging on the larger maples were galvanized sap buckets. Someone clearly is anticipating some thawing. The sap run requires nights below freezing and days above freezing. There could be some sap running this weekend.

Spring might not be far off after all.

Ready for Sap to Run

Ready for Sap to Run

One More Snowman

Born at the End of the Day

Born at the End of the Day

At the moment, water drips from the eave onto the deck.  It almost sounds like it is raining.  It is, however, snowing.  It has snowed for much of the day.  It was coming down thickly when I left for work this morning and it was snowing heavily again when I came home.  It comes down now.

The children made a snowman with their mother after I returned from my grueling labors attempting to educate high school students.  “It was the easiest snowman I have ever made,” exclaimed my spouse as she returned from the sculpture project.  Apparently, the snow was perfect for such activity.  The children stayed outside for a while after this.  When I went out in my tall black boots, the wet snow covering my bare head, to gather them for our evening meal, they had started on a “snow wall.”  This was a series of large snowballs, such as the ones one might use to create a snowman, lined up next to the driveway.  Their art knows no bounds.

We may get more snow.  March is fickle that way.  Two days ago we were out enjoying the warm air, a sweater more than enough.  Today we have snow.  Since we still have the majority of the month left, I imagine we will get some spring and some winter before April comes around.  This could be the last snowman, however.  Perfect snow like this doesn’t come around every day, even in March.