Spring in the Maple woods-
Even though this may have gone down as the poorest maple producing year on record when is it ever bad to be outdoors? Just as a few examples of the maple syrup year a fellow producer a couple miles away from me runs around 700 taps and normally makes around 200 gallons. This year he barely made 40 gallons. I was setup up with 300 taps and looking for around 100 to 150 gallons from 5-6000 gallons of sap and made around 15 gallons from 1000 gallons of sap. Producers who look to the season a major portion of their years income fared no better. One family in Wisconsin normally makes 1200 gallons of syrup made 200. I have heard reports Wisconsin while the 5th largest producer in the nation is down as much as 90%. Ah such is agriculture!
In the mean time the three acre corn field is worked and ready to plant for wildlife. Each day at any given time I have watched wood ducks waddling around picking up last years corn with deer feeding a few feet away. Down and over a few rows are a flock of wild turkeys with the tom in full strut. A rooster pheasant and a couple of hens wander among them all along with 4 sandhill cranes standing watch over all of them. I sit and watch a partridge drumming as I head to the marsh to view another set of wildlife seen only there.
With the early spring I am hoping there will be a good cranberry set and the picking will be good this fall. All we need is a good supply of rain.
This is the picture while I work a few hundred yards away in the woods stringing new lines for use in next years syrup production. Most of these are gravity lines and will not be attached to vacuum but makes the job of picking up sap in one or two locations much easier. I should have another 50 trees tied into this gravity system bringing next years total taps to 350.
The wild flowers are getting ready to bloom. Violets are already blooming with the trilliums ready to open any day. The ground will turn white for as far as you can see with the natural mass planting. I have a hen turkey coming in twice a day. A straight line into the shack and eats for a few minutes and a straight line out heading back to her nest. This is the spring habit of the hen turkey on the nest. All the bird feeders are empty as the bear are back out and the only seed I feed the birds now is on the driveway.
But the best thing is now I have time to sit down in the morning with my home smoked bacon (red oak and sugar maple) with French toast all smothered and almost floating in pure maple syrup from “The Scarlet Jewell Sugar Shack”
See you soon.