St Croix River Road Ramblings

Welcome to River Road Ramblings.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Maple Syrup Season!

Neighbors helped with tapping
the maples in rural Cushing on Saturday
Maple sap should be running by mid week--hasn't really got started yet--so I am headed to the cabin tomorrow to help out.  Nephew Bryce and his friend Neil and some other neighbors put out a couple hundred buckets on Saturday, and although I wasn't there, just couldn't overcome the urge to go up and help out!  Have plenty of wood on hand, just have to clear out the huge paper wasp nest in the cooking shed--probably all wasps are dead -- I think they start new from a queen each spring. 

Margo is healing nicely from the mastectomy and lymph node surgery and doesn't start radiation until May, so I have a few weeks to catch the syrup season.   We drove up to Cushing Sunday for the Easter dinner at brother Marv and Sheila's home.  Margo's arm was a little uncomfortable with the 3 hour trip each way, but not too bad.  Yesterday, she drove the car for the first time in a few months.  She plans to stay in Pine Island during April while I am at the cabin.  Scott lives here too, so she has help if she wants it.  I think she is OK, as she was puttering around cleaning the kitchen and had the vacuum out going over the rug ;-)

Have a bunch of things coming up to help with including Luck and Cushing's history societies, the Polk Genealogy society, and the Sterling Picnic book.  Also have to work on a soldier to honor with some research for the Wolf Creek Memorial Day program.  

Black Diamond
Crimson Sweet
My health is pretty good, and Margo is quickly getting back to normal again so spring is looking good for us.  Margo went online yesterday to order the garden seeds from Gurney's.   Melons for the sand include Crimson Sweet and Black Diamond.   Probably plant some lettuce and peas in a couple of weeks (sometimes we have planted them by April 1st--but not this year). 

I bought a new camera--a Nikon P510 with a 42power zoom lens.   I want to get some photos from the cabin porch out on the lake.  I tried a few from inside the house here in Pine Island out through the window to the bird feeders 100 feet away--holding the camera by hand at max zoom auto mode.   Not quite as sharp as I would like, but pretty good for $299.  With a tripod and no window it should be better. Just go it yesterday afternoon--so haven't tried it out much yet.  My share of the fed tax refund.    

It has a GPS built in that is supposed to stamp each photo with the GPS coordinates so every photo has built into it the location it was taken along with the date, time and other miscellaneous information. Hopefully, if I take it with me, and take photos as I canoe through the boundary waters, or the trackless wilderness north of Grantsburg,  it will keep track of my journey, and if I am ever lost, I will be able to follow the coordinates from the photos back to my starting place, like Hansel and Gretel did with bread crumbs.

 I tried out a 26x Nikon from the Luck Museum last summer--and liked it.  This type of camera is much cheaper than the digital single lens reflex with the big attachable lenses, and the image quality is not as good, but it doubles as a regular camera, and when I get the urge, can zoom in amazingly fast and easily and take a snapshot.   A toy once in a while is great fun--it is a sign you aren't dead yet.   Hopefully I will get some good wildlife shots.   Now, if I just had a new digital movie camera that didn't use tapes like my old one.....

I think this is a red bellied woodpecker.
Hand held 42 power zoom through 
a glass window--100 feet away, on
automatic mode. I cropped it to just the birdie.