WEATHER: Continued below freezing temps and powder snow. For Friday the forecasters predicted rain and high 30’s but here it snowed cottage cheese snow and never cleared 32.
TAPPING STATUS: The crew worked Wednesday – Saturday in the higher terrain. Half the time the guys were pulling lines up out of the deep snow. All that’s left is part of Keystone.
Day Five: Where we left off, 5563
Day Six: 6861
Day Seven: 8063
Day Eight: 8823
Day Nine: 9352
Why are the bears attracted to this pole?
Is there something about its being pressure-treated? Ross thinks they notice how it stands out among the darker trees. Along their routes or at intersections, he says, bears will bite into trees with light-colored inner wood to enhance visibility. Prime choices are red pine, white birch, and balsam fir. They leave their scent in the wounds.
“Ross, what is a common message left on the message board?” I ask.
“If you’re the same sex, don’t find me, stay away.
If you’re the opposite sex, come and find me.”
HOW IT WAS A YEAR AGO:
“Just horrible,” says Chief of Operations. “I don’t think I’ve ever gone into sugar season so exhausted as I did last year. I was working on deadline on a carpentry job, Ross was tapping alone, the crew was in flux, the sap was running…..the season exploded and we had to scramble.”
In the end about ten people (wives, sisters, Canadian skiers) pitched in to get the sugarbush tapped out. Then there was all the setup down at the sugarhouse. Meanwhile it was February school break and folks just kept showing up to see what was going on.
This year we’ve got a full, strong crew and the luxury of time, thanks to the winter being winter. Yes, it’s a relief.