Crew member Ross writes:

The Year of the Microspikes
The Year of the Microspikes

Well, it only took seven weeks, thirteen boils, and numerous trips into the woods to get the lines in ship-shape and the vacuum to the optimal 26.5 in Hg. Even now we will find animal chew or fallen branches that have pulled taps, so the work goes on. Amazing, given we tapped in a record eight days and haven’t had to use snowshoes once this year. Of course, it could all change overnight and we could be wallowing through two feet of wet snow, digging out lines and cutting blowdowns. So goes sugaring and March in Nebraska Valley. Expect the unexpected…….and pack plenty of snacks!


Wednesday's Light Show
Wednesday’s Light Show, Phase I

WEATHER: The phone rang at suppertime. “Did you see the forecast?” asked our neighbor Tom. “It’s supposed to warm up during the night and reach 38 or 40 degrees by 7am.”

Not again!

HOW’S IT RUNNING? It hasn’t run much all week due to lows in the teens and highs in the mid-thirties, but we collected enough sap to finally boil on Wednesday.

BOILING STATUS: Wednesday was Day 14. The average is 20 boiling days.

SAP SWEETNESS: It dropped to 1.7% sugar

Wednesday's Light Show, Phase II
Wednesday’s Light Show, Phase II

early in the week but rebounded to 1.9. Previously this season the range has been 2 to 2.4%.


Introducing The Band Crush, Chapter One

During yesterday’s boil, while listening to the Texas Sheiks, I turned to Christian who was filling gallon jugs and asked, “Do YOU have a band crush?”

Immediately he replied, “Yes! Animals as Leaders.”

“That’s the name of a band?”

It turns out Animals as Leaders are two eight-string guitarists ands a drummer who play progressive metal. We listened to a couple of tracks. This band’s got rhythm within rhythm within rhythm.

Christian writes with these links:


Animals As Leaders front man Tosin Abasi playing solo (over one of AAL’s tracks) at a trade show.


Their drummer Matt Garstka playing an improvised solo at a live show.

The solo starts around 3:20


In my opinion, these guys (along with Javier Reyes, who is the rhythm guitarist) make up the holy trinity of musical creativity and talent… Though I suppose I’m a bit biased since it is within a genre that I am particularly fond of.





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