St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

More Syrup

Gathered 100 gallons of sap yesterday and added and boiled sap again.  Have been cooking and adding to this batch since Saturday at 5 pm. We plan to finish it this afternoon, and then start another batch. Expect about 10 gallons of syrup this time--maybe a little more. 

We have about 300 gallons of sap on hand for the next batch and expect that the season will continue until about the weekend with the 60s temperatures expected, and us ready to quit!  Probably end up with about 30 gallons of syrup for the season.  

Later this week we will take the water pump, move it from the cabin where it has been stored for the winter, to the pump house (like an insulated dog house) prime it and hope water again comes out of the cabin faucets, both hot and cold.   My underground waterlines are about 1 foot deep, so everything is shut down for the winter until the frost leaves the ground in the summer.   Since the woodcock seems able to poke his long beak into the ground now, I judge the frost to be out!

Margo continues to improve. She is on her own for last week and this one as both Scott and I handle the syrup.  She still has a drain in under the flap of skin where the breast was removed, but as it is not draining anymore, it will come out tomorrow. Margo joins neighbor Nancy heading to the clinic, driven by other neighbor Dennis.  Nancy is having her chemo session, every third week for over 2 years now.  Dennis is a retired school teacher who is very nice to help out so Scott and I can finish the maple season here in WI.  

Margo is still on for radiation starting sometime in May.  She also has her regular botox shot to the vocal cords on the 30th so she can talk again--loosens them up.  Her hair is coming in slowly, but nicely and is dark--hardly any gray at all!   

Headed to Anderson Maple today to deliver another 10 of my maple syrup history books and to pick up some bottles for this year's syrup. We like 16, 12 and 8 ounce sizes to sell at the farmer's market.  Don't know if we will do it this year or not.  

Thursday night is the Sterling Eureka and Laketown Historical Society meeting--7 pm at the Cushing Community Center--around the back--upper level. Postponed from last week by the snowstorm.  Have to plan the 2013 season.  All volunteers and we are always looking for more people to get interested. 

Have had a lot of fun watching 3 woodcocks hanging around the woods this spring.  Yesterday, one spent the whole day bobbing and probing in the low spot next to the sap shed.  Their eyes are big and at the very top of their head.  Supposed to be able to see 360 degrees around without turning their head.  Not at all bothered by us 20 feet away chain sawing, tractoring, cooking and so on.  According to a bird book, they eat up to twice their weight each day in bugs, worms and small crustaceans--all found by poking their beak 2-3 inches deep in the soil. 

The lake is still frozen over--latest I can remember. Not many signs of spring yet except for the returned birds.