Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Signs of Spring

The snow is dwindling and there are definite signs of spring outside.
Towns put up signs like this near dirt roads. Why, you may ask? To prevent things like this from getting worse.
How come when I'm out looking for them, I can't find a decent mud rut to photograph. When I'm not looking, they're lurking around corners, ready to swallow my car whole and spit it back out again if I'm lucky. Seriously, they can get pretty deep... I've seen them over a foot deep. There are over 73 miles of dirt road in our town, so we take mud season pretty seriously. The worst of it is usually over in two or three weeks. Then the town moves through with some big equipment and grades it smooth.
There are lots of buckets hanging from sugar maple trees and miles of tubing running through the woods. With the few warm days we've had, the sap is running like a water fountain.
There are huge maple sugaring operations, but there are lots of "backyard" sugars that only make a few gallons. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. That's a lot of water being boiled off.

Even the small operators have a sugar house. No one will boil in their house because it will steam the wallpapers off the walls.

The sheep venture out of the barn hoping to find a few fresh shoots growing up from the bare spots.

The donkey, their companion and protector, gently accepted an offering of Pipsqeak's apple core. Donkeys are often kept with sheep to protect them from coyotes.Many people can't understand why we would want to live here and put up with long, cold, snowy, icy winters. Winter has it's fun and challenges, but if we didn't have it, I wouldn't get to enjoy the overwhelming sense of well being I've had the past few days when I feel the warm sun and get to roll the car windows down a bit.


Apron Thrift Girl said...

I am so sad that maple syrup is so expensive lately. Is it pricey in your neck of the woods. It's as much as $30 for 32oz. I love the photos of the tap in the tree.

Kitt said...

Yay, spring! Mud and all.

Aunt Becky said...

Hooray Spring!

And our roads are terrible too! This winter was particularly brutal on them.

Tammie said...

your part of the country is so beautiful and the signs of spring so obvious. springs arrival is much more subtle here, we hardly have any seasonal changes at all. it makes me sad sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your weather this year--believe it or not, I kinda miss it...

Liz said...

Hooray for real maple syrup! Sadly, it is too pricy for us too. I think the long wonters make us appreciate nice weather. Don't you?

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