St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Monday, March 9, 2015

Maple Sap not Dripping Yet

The snow is already gone close to the maple sap cooking shed -- walls of 8 used doors and 4 used windows. 
With the last few days being extraordinarily warm for early March (today was 50F), we expected some trees to run a little sap, but not yet.  They are being cautious knowing an early March thaw can be fickle. 

Scott and I added a new stovepipe and some heat shields for the sap cooker over the weekend.  Next some grates for the fire box, and then we should be ready in the sap shed. 
Looking down the maple treed hill to the 1975 cabin--all built from home sawn lumber and built by Russ, Margo and Dad. 

Tomorrow (Tuesday, March 10th) we will put out a few more test buckets in different parts of the 60 acres we tap.  Some areas tend to run ahead of others -- south slopes before north ones, level open areas before hillside and so on.  

Waiting until the last minute to tap trees, especially this early in March, is important as the tap holes are viable for 4-6 weeks only.  If we tap now, the holes may be clogged by the end of March and most years our biggest production is a few weeks into April.  

Margo is impatiently waiting for April 2nd back surgery, some days so painful it is hard to do anything at all including sleeping and some days a little better.  Surgery to relieve the pinching on the upper spinal cord should take away the pain, although the recovery will take a few months too. 

Not so much runoff from the thin layer of snow this spring

Some apple trees hold their apples over winter to give the robins spring fruit. 

Some areas were snow covered most of the winter and stayed a little green.  Welcome sight after the long winter. 

The geraniums we dug and brought in last fall gave us a nice colorful winter.  They go outside again in late May.