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Wednesday, April 30, 2008


7:00 AM. 30 degrees, wind S, calm. The channel is smooth. The barometer predicts rain, and the skies are mostly blue with some haze.
The robin keeps attacking the bedroom window, waking us up this morning. I am certain it is attacking its reflection. I have been trying to get a photo of this activity but he ( I assume it is a male, as males are generally stupider than the female of any given species) is very camera shy.
We did get an impromptu church yard cleanup accomplished yesterday ahead of the anticipated bad weather. But the daffodils are beginning to bloom, and we saw our first sailboat of the season out in the channel yesterday evening.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Tuesday, 8:00 AM. 32 degrees, wind E, calm to light, barometer down, predicting rain. Skies partly cloudy with a light haze. It is a beautiful if cool morning, good for outdoor activity.
We have a robin driving itself and us nuts. It seems to have a fatal attraction, either trying to rest on a too-narrow window ledge outside our bedroom, or it is in attack mode against its reflection . It flies against the window, and falls back, repeatedly. This has been going on for days. I would put up a board for it to nest on but it is very specific as to where it wants to do its thing. Some instinct, either aggressive or reproductive, has been triggered. I guess in either case it could be called territorial, and it is not likely to be easily turned off. I have hot been successful in scaring it away. When we lived in Nebraska we had a gazing ball in the garden that a robin took to fighting its reflection in, attacking the ball endlessly until it fell exhausted, then starting all over again. After days of watching this display I finally threw a towel over the reflecting ball and the robin left.
Anyway, I hope the bird has the good sense to be motivated to do something more productive with this nice day!

Monday, April 28, 2008


Monday, 8:00 AM. 25 degrees, wind ENE, light. The barometer is down, predicting partly cloudy skies, which are currently partly covered with dark snow clouds. Mike from the Seagull Bay Motel related that many and large fish were caught by some customers way out in the Islands on Saturday, but at great hazard to life, limb and boat.
I had a tamer Sunday, planting the church’s Rhododendron, and in the afternoon attending a class on grafting at Hidden Valley Organic Farm, just west of town, conducted by owner Tom Galazen. He was an excellent teacher, and there were eight or ten attentive students; some folks with old orchards, a couple of young state employees, and several young wood-be orchardists. There are a lot of people hereabouts who basically live off the land, which can be a really hardscrabble existence, but very rewarding for the patient and unassuming. Tom covered a number of standard orchard grafts. It was good review for me, and with Tom providing the rootstock, I grafted two scions of an old apple tree out on Hwy K I have been watching for several years. I will pot them up and decide what to do with them later.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Sunday, 8:00 AM. 24 degrees, wind NNE, calm to blustery. The barometer predicts sunny skies, which are presently partly cloudy. It was almost a blizzard yesterday, but with only a slight accumulation of dust-fine snow. we experienced a hard freeze last night, the bird bath froze over and the daffodils are drooping, but all will recover. I am planting a PJM Rhododendron at church for Rogation Sunday. It is tough, and will like it here.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Saturday, 8:00 AM. 29 degrees, wind south, with strong gusts, the barometer predicts precipitation. It is snowing lightly, but with no accumulation as yet.
I put on the black wool Stormy Kromer cap, icon of Northland haberdashery, this morning, retrofitting myself for our walk. We were to have a church yard clean up today, but I doubt that will happen. But this too shall pass, as our priest is wont to say, and a few warm days and Bayfield will be awash in yellow daffodils.
The birds had been predicting this weather for days, as they have been ravenous. Insects must be in short supply, and lots of fuel is needed for the impending mating season.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Friday, 8:00 AM,38 degrees, wind NNE, calm to blustery. The barometer predicts rain. Skies are overcast, and the channel waters calm. We are awaiting the predicted stormy weather, but have learned to look out the window as the Lake creates its own weather systems.
We went to Cornucopia, twenty miles west on Hwy 13, last evening to attend a Chamber of Commerce event at Ehlers General Store. It has been a fixture of Cornucopia for a hundred years and is now under new management. It is an “everything” store, from hardware to food and clothing, who’s motto used to be, “if we don’t have it, you don’t need it.” It is well worth a visit; nostalgia abounds but also modernity.
Purple finches are at the feeder, the males looking like they have been dipped head first in strawberry jam.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

4/24/08 LIFE IS A BALL

Thursday, 8:00 AM. 45 degrees, wind E, calm. The barometer predicts rain. Skies are rapidly becoming overcast, presaging the predicted major storm.
Tragedy strikes every community, small as well as large. The body of a missing local woman, well known and respected in the community, was pulled from the icy waters of the channel yesterday, and our thoughts and prayers are with the grieving family.
It was in the 70’s late yesterday afternoon and we put the top down on the old convertible and took a country ride. The spring peeper frogs were chorusing in every wetland, and birdsong was everywhere.
The woodpeckers are establishing and defending their nesting territories, and at least one and maybe more (hard to tell them apart) male downy woodpeckers are drumming on metal stop signs to amplify their calls, thereby announcing that they are the biggest, baddest downies in the woods. If one learns from another, as I suspect is the case, it leads to a sort of drumming arms race, each now ramming its little beak against unrelenting metal instead of more giving wood, with none being superior long over another and all with headaches I am sure. The species would probably be better off without such advances in technology, but who am I to criticize.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Wednesday, 8:00 AM. 37 degrees, wind SE, calm. The barometer is up, predicting sunny skies, which are partly overcast at present. The weather forecast is for a nice day today with rain and possibly snow for the rest of the week, but the low hasn’t shown up on my barometer as yet.
The yard and gardens are in pretty good shape, but I have to get the two rain barrels in place and clean the garage in anticipation of the storm. I am out of firewood and have to scrounge some up. A few daffodils are blooming on the south side of the house, harbingers of great things to come throughout town. Walked with neighbor Erick and dog Morgan this morning, Roxy is AWOL, perhaps grounded.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Tuesday, 8:00 AM. 37 degrees, wind NNE, strong, with stronger gusts. The barometer is down, predicting partly sunny skies. Skies are overcast, and it rained, with thunder, most of the night, but with less than one-half inch accumulation.
The yard and garden cleanup is proceeding well, with only a couple of hours work left after it dries up.
I have been noting how really attractive the plain old tag alders,
Alnus rugosa, are in flower, the long pendulous yellow catkins covering an entire shrub or small tree. I even brought a branch in to add to the pussy willow, poplar and forsythia already in a vase on the table. We so often ignore the common beauty right in front of our eyes, thinking only the exotic worthy of our attention, How mistaken that attitude is.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Monday, 33 degrees, wind E, calm. The barometer is down, predicting rain. The skies are partly cloudy with some haze. It is a pleasant morning but will turn rainy by tonight, so I will continue with yard and garden work.
Down at the beach there is an interesting if somewhat gruesome thing which I have seen there once before and am trying to figure out. A piece of deer hide perhaps 2’ square with shreds of meat attached is hanging up in an alder bush, about 6’ off the ground. It has obviously been placed there by something…eagle, bear, or large cat? Last year, about the same place, but while there was still snow on the ground, there was a front leg of a deer, similarly placed, in about the same location. At that time I looked for tracks and saw none that were distinct enough to identify. These items were obviously placed where they were to keep other animals from them, so I assume that they were placed by a large bird, but if so, why not higher up, in a tree? A bear would probably have buried them, and the branches are not stout enough to hold a large cat. So I assume this was done by an eagle, unless…these things were cast up out of the surf by a strong wind and carried a hundred feet or so across the sand, to be lodged in the brush? But why then would they be deer remains, and not other flotsam? I still opt for the eagle.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


7:30 AM. 32 degrees, wind ENE, calm. The barometer is down, predicting partly sunny skies. It is a foggy, cold spring morning.
Our walk was quiet and quick, but we did notice the red maples are beginning to bloom, and about time. This is an event unnoticed by many, and although the flowers are small, in aggregate they can be quite impressive. In New York where we lived they bloomed in late February, quite a variation.
Lucky and I went to the Sioux River yesterday in the late afternoon in the rain to see if there were any fish and almost froze to death. A lady game warden walked out to see if we had a license and if we were still alive, and both facts were confirmed. She said there were few fish being caught anywhere on her beat. I think she is a more reliable source of information than other fishermen. The 10mm Glock on her hip gave her an appropriate amount of authority. Sure hope it warms up.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Saturday, 7:00 AM. 35 degrees, wind ENE, very light. The barometer predicts rain. It is raining moderately at present, and it looks like it will be a wet day.
The weather forecast has predicted rain for Monday but my barometer has been down for days. The barometer on your wall is like the compass in your pocket…it is best to believe it.
We have canceled the spring cleanup of the church grounds, making phone calls to groggy parishioners. We have too few of them to risk loosing them to flu or rheumatism on Sunday. The dog and the birds, being sensible creatures, are all sleeping in.
The rain will hasten the daffodils, and the tulips, poppies and Iris are all growing vigorously now. And, this is the kind of rain that will bring the spawning trout and salmon up the rivers. Decisions, decisions!

Friday, April 18, 2008


Friday, 8:00 AM. 38 degrees, wind E, calm. Barometer down, predicting rain. Skies overcast. We are due for spring rains next week but it looks like they might start sooner. Looking across the channel, ice is still visible on the Island shore. the ice flows also do blow around out there and it is not uncommon to see ice flows much later that this. Several years ago a large block of ice floated into Pikes Bay from the south channel on the 4th of July.
Anyway, the yard work is progressing, and at this point I am not too stiff and sore, maybe the maple sugaring did get me into shape somewhat, although I have always said that the only way to get in shape for gardening is more gardening. Lucky didn't think much of raking instead of going for a walk, and spent his time laying in wait for chipmunks to exit their rock wall burrows.
Andy and Judy came to town last evening for Joan's famous venison stew, and I assume everyone had a good time but I can't say for sure as I fell asleep right after dinner.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Thursday, 7:30 AM. 39 degrees, wind NW, light. The barometer is up, predicting sunny weather. Skies are blue with some haze.
It is a fine morning, quiet except for birdsong. The folks are beginning to rake lawns and garden beds, sometimes around remaining mounds of ice and snow. The desire to rake winter away for good is obvious.
I have an 8:30 AM Bayfield in Bloom committee meeting to wrap things up for the big event on May 16, only a month away. Our daffodils in the parks, boulevards and yards are in bud now, and in a week or ten days the whole community will be splashed with yellow. The Camber of Commerce has been the driving force behind the daffodil effort, and has provided tens of thousands for the city. Daffodils are pedestrian plants perhaps, but are colorful, fragrant and dependable, tough and deer-proof. They may not be the latest thing, but are a huge success.
Most of today I will devote to getting the gardens in shape and eventually the lawns. There is still a mountain of snow in the herb garden, off the north deck.
We have had a female redpoll at the feeder for several days, a pretty little bird that is quite tame.
I keep thinking that if we get out early enough for our morning walk we will see bears in Bayfield. It is that time.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

4/16/08 AH, SPRING

Wednesday, 7:45 AM. 45 degrees, wind NE, calm. The barometer is down, predicting precipitation. Skies partly cloudy and hazy. This is truly a spring morning, the snow mostly gone in the city, crocus blooming and daffodils about to. The melting snow has uncovered untold opportunities for yard work.
We went to the beach yesterday before dinner and made a few casts at the mouth of the Sioux River. I had no strikes but saw one nice fish caught about 150 yards out, by three guys in a small boat fishing amongst the ice flows. It must have been a keeper since they hit it on the head a few times, I don’t know if it was a steelhead, which have to be 26” minimum length, which is a pretty good sized fish. Anyway I will try my luck there at odd times and maybe get lucky. I do not have the patience to be a really good fisherman, and like to spend an hour or so at most at it. At some point I will go up to the Big Rock on the Sioux and fish for steelhead, after a good warm rain.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Tuesday,7:45 AM. 35 degrees, wind E, calm. The barometer is down, predicting mostly sunny skies. The sky is partly cloudy now. The water is running in the ditches all around the city. Much of the lowland in the country is soggy but there is still plenty of snow in the woods.
We made the last sap run yesterday and pulled all the spiles even though the sap will run for a while yet. I think everyone is tired, including the dogs, and it is time to “hang it up.” Andy feels we have produced the best syrup in many years, which he judges as a commercial “Grade A Amber.” 475 gallons of laboriously collected sap produced 11.5 gallons of syrup, averaging 1 gallon of syrup to 46 gallons of sap. I am going to guess that at least a cord of dry mixed firewood was used to boil the sap down to syrup (a cord is a pile of wood 4’ high, 4’ deep and 8’ long). The time involved was more than a month from set-up to clean up. I will guess that Andy and Judy put at least 300 hours into the effort, plus at least 200 hours by others, for a minimum of 500 hours of labor and probably much more.
Anyone can see that this is not a profit making venture but a labor of love, and whatever maple syrup sells for in the store it is not enough to justify the work. However, used judiciously, a quart or two of syrup will last until next year, and the memories of days spent with friends old and new in the sugar bush will last a lifetime.

Monday, April 14, 2008

4/14/08 IT'S BAAAACK!

Monday, 7:00 AM. 17 degrees, wind SSE, calm. Barometer down, predicting partly cloudy skies, which are now clear. It is a beautiful January morning in mid-April, and there is skim ice half way across the channel. It is supposed to be warm this week so I don’t think they will have to reactivate the wind sled. I went to bed early, tuckered out from traipsing around on snow shoes at the sugar bush, so of course awoke way before dawn. No one else, not even Roxy, was up and out for our walk, so we had the sunrise virtually to ourselves. The first ferry is coming across from La Pointe just now, and it is actually breaking ice, now half way to Bayfield.
There was a sap run yesterday but I arrived after it was picked up. My timing was suspect, so I will go out today right after lunch. I think this will be the last pick up from the far grove today, as Jim and Mike are getting ready to go back to their regular jobs. The spiles will have to be pulled and the buckets brought back and washed. I think Andy will continue to collect from trees near the shack for a few more days and then will cook off what sap remains and shut things down for the year. There will undoubtedly be sap run conditions after this week but I think everyone will have had enough and have other things to do. Paul and Joanne are leaving this morning, the crew is getting smaller and smaller.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

4/13/08 TEACHER

Sunday, 8:30 AM, temperature 25, wind NNE, moderate. The barometer predicts sunny skies, which are presently mostly cloudy. The snow is rapidly evaporating from roads and driveways but there is plenty of it everywhere else.

The sap did not run yesterday but will today and probably most of the coming week. The two couples who managed to get to the Old Rittenhouse Inn for the Maple Sugaring weekend did make it out to the sugar bush and down to the sugar shack, but I did not meet them because they were out in the woods somewhere with Andy on a nature hike.
Andy is a wonderful naturalist and at heart a teacher, and opportunities to teach willing learners make him really come alive. His is truly the Socratic method, the teacher at one end of the log and the student at the other, and not just figuratively. No matter how much even us old guys think we know we always learn more from our friend Andy when we are out in nature, and as I like to say, "Andy is a naturalist who is out standing in his field."

Saturday, April 12, 2008

4/12/08. BLIZZARD.

Saturday, 8:00 AM. 21 degrees, wind NE, heavy with stronger gusts. Barometer up, predicting sunny skies, currently overcast. The blizzard pretty well shut things down, with heavy drifting but only 8”-10” of snow in the city (18” at the sugar bush). It was heavy, wet and sticky, a real job to get rid of. I called Andy at the sugar bush, and asked if they had all survived. He said no, they were all dead. I asked him if they were in heaven and he said no, Saint Peter wouldn’t let them in until they went back and took a shower somewhere. They did make it in to the Rittenhouse last night for dinner with the two couples who had arrived for the maple sugar weekend, Paul’s dual-wheel four wheel drive truck got them in and back. The two couples are due out this morning for their maple sugaring experience, but they will have a tough time getting back to the sugar shack. I may get out there myself, although the sap may not run today.
There is a chipping sparrow and a song sparrow at the feeder, also very pretty rosy finches along with a lot of other birds, and robins are eating frozen crabapples, I am sure they would prefer worms.
There are a lot of ice flows blowing around out there. One ferry just went across to La Pointe. Wayne, the Coast Guard officer next door says the radar can’t tell ice flows from land so if visibility is bad it makes for poor navigation. Even with GPS radar is needed in bad weather, because GPS doesn’t recognize anything but the boat’s map position, not obstacles to navigation.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Friday, 7:30 AM. 27 degrees, wind NE, violent. Barometer down, predicting snow. We are having a blizzard. It is hard to tell how much snow has fallen because it is blown and plastered everywhere, but trees are heavy laden. This is a major storm and will last a while from the looks of it. Porch furniture is overturned, bird feeders are askew and birds are rooting around in the snow for seeds, wondering why they didn’t stay south a while longer.
The sap ran well yesterday, Andy says an advancing low helps the sap run. Anyway, another 45 gallons was collected and Andy and Paul were cooking like crazy.
This is supposed to be the big maple syrup weekend, sponsored by The Old Rittenhouse Inn, starting with a free community event at the Historic Society Museum tonight with tales of maple sugaring and many different maple deserts and apple cider. I hope it doesn’t have to be canceled. Also, the sugar bush is to be the site of a Rittenhouse camp breakfast for their guests at the sugar shack. It may take four wheel drives and snow shoes to get cooks and guests there. It will also give guests an opportunity to help with sugaring as a rustic experience for, I am afraid, the truly hungry and brave.
We all (Joan and I, Andy and Judy, Paul and Joanne and all four dogs) had dinner at camp, the main course being elk from Paul’s Colorado hunting trip last fall. Appetites were whetted, very appropriately, by a bottle of Yukon Jack fire water. By dark it was starting to snow and Myron called, suggesting vehicles be parked at the end of the lane over night, nearer the plowed roads. Well, snowed in is snowed in, welcome to spring in the North Woods.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Thursday, 8:00 AM. 27 degrees, wind NE, moderate with stronger gusts.
Barometer down, predicting partly cloudy skies, currently mostly blue. A big storm is predicted for tonight and tomorrow with up to 18 inches of snow. It might be good for the lake but bad for my back, so all things considered I hope it is just media alarmism.
Paul, Joanne and dogs arrived last evening and we all had a fine time, they left before breakfast for the sugar bush to help Andy cook, and I will go out later this afternoon to help collect. It was a good run yesterday, 45 gallons of sap, but will probably be less today.
There are lots of reports of bears but I have not seen any. The commercial fishing boats are going out again from Bayfield and I assume Red Cliff now that most of the ice is gone.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Wednesday,8:30 AM, 27 degrees, wind NW, calm to light. Barometer up, predicting partly sunny skies, which are currently overcast. A major storm is predicted for Friday and Saturday, and we will keep our fingers crossed that it will miss us, as we are tired of this winter that just won’t go away.
The trip to Wausau was uneventful except for heavy fog along Hwy 2 going. It should always be anticipated that Hwy 2 from Ashland to Hayward may be very foggy as it is along the lake shore. Lucky was overjoyed to see us when we picked him up from the kennel, of course steak tidbits may have influenced his behavior.
Red maples are in bloom in the Wisconsin River bottoms around Wausau, and poplars are in flower, otherwise things still look pretty wintry.
Saw juncos at the feeder this morning for the first time in a long while. A few of the gold finches are really yellow now. No daffodils are blooming yet, but an Amaryllis on the windowsill is, the first one, and very late this year.
Paul and Joanne and their two dogs arrive from Three Lakes this evening to stay with us through the weekend and help with maple sugaring. It will be good to have their company.

Monday, April 7, 2008


Monday, 9:00 AM. 30 degrees, wind E, calm. Barometer predicts precipitation. It has rained some over the past 24 hours, and is presently very foggy. But, we dodged the bullet… northern Minnesota got up to 24” of snow.
I asked neighbor Sherman, a ferryboat captain, about the ice breakup yesterday, and he was running the boat I was watching. He said he thought the ice mostly blew out the open south channel after the ferry cut a path through it. He said it was quite windy out there and it did go out awfully fast. I also conferred with neighbor Erick who has lived here most of his life, and he says when the ice is “candled” with vertical holes from melting it can disintegrate very rapidly. So I am theorizing that it was a combination of those three factors, cutting a channel, strong wind and rotten ice, which caused the sudden disappearance of the ice yesterday morning. At any rate it was an awesome thing to experience. No blog tomorrow, we are going to Wausau to attend a regional forestry meeting. Lucky gets to stay at Blue Ribbon Kennel in Ashland.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Sunday, 8:00 AM. 30 degrees, wind ENE, moderate to gusty. Barometer down, predicting partly cloudy skies, which are at presently mostly overcast.
The ferry made its first run through the ice this morning and it went fairly quickly it seemed, but then it proceeded very slowly into the harbor at La Point where the ice must have been quite thick.
In the few moments I watched the ferry with the glasses a very large area of open water appeared in the channel from the south almost all the way to Bayfield, several miles long and as wide at its widest. I would not have believed this if I hadn’t witnessed it myself. I can’t say “saw it,” because it was ice one moment and the next moment open water. Telling about something like this is akin to reporting a UFO sighting, people are likely to think you are nuts.
4:00 PM: looking at one of the ice flows from the window I saw an ice fishing tent upon it. I watched it for quite a while until it floated behind a large pine tree that obstructed my view. I saw no one waving frantically so I assume it was left on the ice yesterday and now is floating towards Ashland. They cost hundreds of dollars but are not worth risking a life for, obviously. Last week two guys had to be rescued from the water off Roy’s Point after they went through the ice with their 4 wheelers. Several weeks ago two snomobilers were pulled out near Stockton Island. It happens every year…snow mobiles, pickups, ATV’s, but I haven’t heard of any deaths in the Bay Area this year as yet.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


7:00 AM. 29 degrees, wind WNW, calm. The barometer is up, predicting mostly sunny weather. Skies are mostly blue.
Robins are in the yard this morning, and have been around everywhere for several days. Crocus are blooming on the south side of the house, yellow, white and blue.
The sap run was light yesterday, only about 15 gallons. Andy bottled 5 quarts of syrup yesterday from the previously collected sap, and has plenty to cook off today. A winter storm watch is in effect for the area tonight through Monday morning, and we will see how that affects the sap run. I think we could all use a little break, as we probably have two more weeks of sap run left.
The Bayfield Regional Conservancy annual pancake breakfast this morning is being held at the Mt. Ashwabay recreation area and I am going there now to flip pancakes. Ruth Oppedahl, BRC executive director, is having a trail named after her; it is a surprise, and a welcome recognition of her tireless efforts for the community and the environment.

Friday, April 4, 2008


Friday, 8:30 AM. 38 degrees, wind NW, calm. Barometer predicts partly cloudy skies, which are currently blue with some haze.
Yesterday’s sap flow was only about 20 gallons, evidently because it did not get cold enough the previous night. That’s all right, as Andy still has about 60 gallons of sap to boil down today anyway. Today may also be a light run.
Joan made soup and a cake and we went out to the Larsen’s in the evening and had a good dinner and conversation by kerosene lamp light with Andy and Judy and talked a lot about our respective experiences in New York where we all lived in the ’70 ‘s (but we did not know Andy and Judy back then). The sunset fit the conversation, as it was a stratification of colored clouds…blue, cherry, green, peach…which looked for all the world like Italian Spumoni ice cream on a blue-sky plate. Maybe we should have made pizza.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Thursday, 7:45 AM. 27 degrees, wind SE, calm. The barometer is down, predicting precipitation. Skies are blue with considerable haze on the E horizon. It was a soft, pink dawn, the Island emerging out of the fog and haze, its blue-gray mass distinct between the white ice and the lightening sky.
The sap run was full-scale yesterday afternoon, most of the tree buckets full to the brim, three or four filling a five gallon bucket. We collected at least 75 gallons of sap, Mike and Jim collecting and hauling from the east grove, with the snowmobile, and I collecting closer to the sugar shack. Snowshoes are still necessary, at least for myself. It is hard work, even for Lucky, who often broke through the crust and almost disappeared. I didn’t have to rescue him, but he was tuckered out last night.
Andy said he started cooking before 5:00 AM and didn’t quit until 5:00 PM. A long day emptying buckets, stirring, stoking the stoves and bottling, but we are at last getting some real production. Today should be a repeat of yesterday.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Wednesday, 8:00 AM. 22 degrees, wind W, light. Barometer predicts sunny skies, now blue with some haze.
The woods were pristine yesterday afternoon, the sap flowed well and 47 gallons were collected. I did fine on snow shoes in 7” of new snow on top of two feet of slush. I did the rounds of the tapped trees, securing the taps by tapping them in with a hammer, as many had become loose. Andy, the syrup master, cooked and cooked. Jim and Mike collected sap by snowmobile. Today should be a large run.


Monday, 24 degrees, wind ENE, light. Barometer up, predicting partly sunny skies, which currently are overcast but clearing. We were hit with a spring blizzard last night, about 5” of heavy wet snow, now removed from the driveway. I see a cloud of white moving across the channel. Putting the glasses on it I see it is the wind sled, so the ice road is closed. Viva spring!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Tuesday, 8:30 AM. 24 degrees, wind ENE, light. Barometer up, predicting partly sunny skies. Skies are currently overcast but clearing. We were hit with an “April Fool” spring blizzard last night, leaving about 5” of wet sticky snow, now shoveled from the driveway. I see a cloud of white moving across the channel, and putting the glasses on it I see it is the wind sled, so the ice road is closed. Viva spring!