WEATHER: At noon Wednesday the thermometer registers 50 in the shade. Yesterday was cooler at 40; it stayed stuck on 40 all night. It froze briefly the previous night.

HOW’S IT RUNNING? The trees have fully awakened; sparkly sap pounds into the tanks night and day from the 10,000 individual maple tree pumps.

BOILING STATUS: Today is Day Five. Last night was the first post-midnight boil. We anticipate night after long night as there is no forecast of a freeze-up.


Regina Spektor (Ana loves her)

First Aid Kit  (Chief of Operations’s current singer crush)

Irrepressible Ana. She is wearing earrings given to her this winter by Elena, her friend’s aunt, who hosted Ana at her home on the island of Sardinia, Italy. Dangling from the chains are tiny Sardinias shaped out of copper.



Yesterday I drove to Cabot,
north across the broad valley between Mt.Mansfield and the Worcester Range,
turning east in Morrisville to follow the narrow Lamoille River Valley to Hardwick and beyond, climbed for winding miles then descended to Joe’s Pond and West Danville,
a right turn onto Rte. 2, down past high meadows to Goodrich’s Sugarhouse to pick up supplies.

I crossed into God’s Country in Walden where the open fields of dairy farms slope up to the horizon. As always, my eye followed the contours of the wooded ridges and I knew  I’d arrived in Maple Country, too, from the naked maple trees bristling all in a row against the sky. Driving back into Nebraska Valley a few hours later, I noted anew that our ridge lines here feature spruce and fir breaking up the hardwoods.

MACRO: BIg sky, top of the world, a sense of being far from home

Lamoille River open in Morrisville, frozen upstream in Hardwick and beyond.
Snow only on north-facing slopes until Walden. Past that, snow on all exposures.
Cedar trees evoking the north.
No steam rising from any of the sugarhouses.




5 thoughts on “At Full Throttle

  1. sugarhouse details — hot syrup running from the old bulk tank into a new drum, reflection of the drum’s base on the barely water-slick floor; new filtered sap pushing through the perimeter of the filter press plates, partnered with its stack of paper filters, waiting their turn, close-by; ample working wood pile near the arch, ready for a long fire; the ever-present navel oranges, favored quench of the thirsty sugarmaker. Happy sugaring!


  2. Elyse, You are right here with us this moment, and the next, and the next. I just survived a syrup surge. We dropped from ultra to a shade darker. The deck is SO slippery and slimy with syrup on the wall side of the arch. The crew is playing reggae, and I need to peel an orange. Happy sugaring indeed! Audrey

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ha-ha — new-filtered SYRUP…not sap! I feel like I’m with you when I read your posts, when I see the pictures of this year’s crew, when I see Ana’s latest drawing. But it is not Vermont here in rainy Massachusetts. Missing you…love to all! Elyse


  4. I hope you have all the crew you need for the season. I’m picturing your drive to Cabot. Sounds like spring in VT.


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