HILL REPORT. from woods crew member Cy Kupersmith:
Legs are feeling strong after enough of a break to relieve fatigue but not too long to feel gassed.
Great snow for snow shoeing. Predictably soft and not punchy.
Weather has been good for one layer. Sometimes two at the end of the day.
I saw a woodpecker today hammering away at the top of a broken tree.
I tried to get its attention by clanging my poles but it was beyond disinterested.
Chief of Operations writes:
Shades of Possibility 3/26/18
If only I had the power to predict weather, it would be so much easier to answer:
How good will sugar season be this year?
Will there be a good sap run tomorrow and when will you start boiling?
“I’ll tell you in May” is the stock answer for predicting the season, but it gets old with overuse.
My father was clever at coping with imponderables. When confronted with a question he couldn’t answer, he would authoritatively explain that “no one seems to know,” effectively ending that line of inquisition. When questioned about a future event that was impossible to predict, he would describe it as “barely possible,” and if he felt slightly more confident about his prediction he would say it was “entirely possible.”
Agriculture, and especially sugaring, brings one close (too close) to the whims of nature, and trying to accurately glimpse the future in the face of overwhelming imponderables is a fool’s endeavor. As most farmers age, their sense of hope diminishes and pessimism becomes their default outlook.
Here I am only halfway through the throes of another bizarre sugar season, and yet looking at the ten day weather forecast I am feeling oddly optimistic. At the moment, I sincerely believe it’s entirely possible this will turn out to be a good season!
Weather: The past two days, highs in the low 40’s, lows just above freezing, overcast or partly sunny.
How’s it running? Steadily, ploddingly around the clock
Boiling Status: Day 15. We’re making Ultra Ultra Fancy. No one seems to know why the syrup is so light this year.
Sap Sweetness: 2.3% sugar
Morning Woes: One gate valve was closed by mistake and another was opened by mistake. The consequences? The pressure gauge on the filter press blew; two gallons of syrup spilled on the floor. As woes go, these scarcely register on the woe scale.