Two people transferred boxes of new syrup jugs
from a Chevy van to the loft of the sugarhouse,
then cleared off the counter to make room for tools.
They then wriggled the front and back pans into place over the firebox
in eighteen deliberate steps,
using twenty-nine different tools.

Then one person found the hose and hooked it up to the outdoor faucet.
Another person swept out the upper sap tanks,
then thawed the drains with a blowtorch,
while still another gathered white snow in a white pail
and climbed into the lower sap shed tank.

While she scoured the tank with clumps of snow,
one person sanded the steps leading to the sugarhouse
and another hosed down the upper tanks,
then disconnected the hose.

Then one person inserted the main lines,
dripping sap,
into the vacuum pump room
in eighteen deliberate steps,
using a different set of
twenty-nine tools.

Another climbed up into the wood shed to the rafters. He rearranged the chunks of wood to create a hole through to the sugarhouse, then he heaved a few chunks through the hole. They clunked onto the floor in front of the firebox.

Still another filled the back and front pans with water,
then she lit a fire with the chunks and boiled the water
to clean the pans one last time before the sap comes.
This she calls a mock boil.

Meanwhile, someone else entirely changed the blog header.

Late in the afternoon, Joe and Tom Silva stopped by to borrow taps and buckets for the trees they tap down on Miller Brook. Everyone stopped working.

Tom told us about a sight he saw one frosty dawn recently while riding in a school bus near Danville en route to a ski meet.

I heard him say he saw an orange sun pillar topped with a golden arc, at each end of which shimmered a rainbow twinkling with ice crystals.



3 thoughts on “Saturday Chores

  1. Breathtaking beauty, powerful details, strong precise language. Love the irony of “mock boil” knowing what’s ahead of you in the next few weeks. I’m curious about the sun pillar. Truly awesome image.
    Thanks for sharing the pre- sap run work with those of us who come in on the other end– eating maple syrup on as much food as we can.

    Liked by 1 person

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