“It’s time to put on your big boy pants and get zesty,” said an Iditarod musher to a flailing musher he overcame on a particularly grueling stretch of trail.

‘Tis.

Sugar maple buds before they pop. Painting by Ana Lucia Fernandez

WEATHER: The Turn.
The thaw began on Thursday.
Thursday night it dropped to 32 at the sugarhouse.
Friday it climbed to 45.
Friday night stayed warm, 40, some rain.
Saturday morning the rain is clearing, it’s supposed to get into the 60’s with sunshine. [This is not ideal sugaring weather, as the buds can develop quickly in the heat at this point in the season.]
There’s a flood watch for Sunday-Monday.

Red maple buds. They tend to pop before the sugar maple buds. They stand out in their redness at all stages: the fat red buds, red flowers, the very red leaves in the fall.  Painting by Ana Lucia Fernandez

HOW’S IT RUNNING? Even in my sleep I note the pump releasing sap into the holding tank: 27 seconds of groaning on a low B tone, 20 seconds of rest. It’s the heart beat of a modern sugaring operation.

On Friday morning, for the first time this year, an early surge caused flooding in the vacuum pump room and into the overflow unit. The sap has been hammering in ever since.

The maples have finally loosened up in sugarbushes across northern Vermont. Phew.

BOILING STATUS: We’re busy.

Four days ago, Chief of Operations wrote:

Turtle Runs 4/9/19

There are some years when the transition from winter into spring is quick and decisive. This is not one of those years. Sugaring has been described as the equal marriage of the sun and the frost. For a marriage to be successful neither partner should have the upper hand for too long. This year’s marriage is not yielding.

We are currently in a period of temperature range between the low 30’s and mid 40’s, cloudy skies, and lots of rain. This isn’t the storybook sugaring weather of hard freezing nights followed by warm sunny days. The transition to spring is in stagnation and the resulting sap runs are tedious and boring. These turtle runs eventually produce enough sap to boil but their plodding march to the finish line is so unexciting.

Our thermometer for the last forty hours has been locked on 33°. With this pattern of nights that never really freeze and days that never really feel warm, the melting is happening at a snail’s pace. I can’t ever remember the snow so deep in our woods at this time of year. I find myself asking if it will ever melt enough to let the spring flowers emerge, though I need to keep in mind it always has.

 

4 thoughts on “April 13th: All Thaw News

  1. I can practically feel the mud and soft snow under my boots and feel the spring breeze in the zesty times with little sleep and lots of work ahead.
    Looking out my window at Pinon trees and stark, rocky crags, its a compelling visual.

    Like

  2. Hi Audrey, I learn a lot reading your blog. Thanks for ” letting the soft animal of your body love what it loves” (Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese.)

    Do you still have a crew to feed? I’m coming in late in the game but I expect clean up is a big job and that may only just be starting. I could make dinner and bring it up tomorrow or Friday. If yes, tell me what you’ve had too much of or what you crave. Nina

    On Sat, Apr 13, 2019 at 9:15 AM The Nebraska Knoll Blog wrote:

    > nebraskaknoll posted: “”It’s time to put on your big boy pants and get > zesty,” said an Iditarod musher to a flailing musher he overcame on a > particularly grueling stretch of trail. ‘Tis. WEATHER: The Turn. The thaw > began on Thursday. Thursday night it dropped to 32 ” >

    Like

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