What to do when: Need to finish tapping
but can’t tap some days, too cold, might crack the bark.
Tap on the weekend? There’s no imminent thaw.
Just might go for a ski.
And you ski through a large sugarbush up north that’s all tapped out.
What to do when: Should make sugar one more time before the sap runs
but best to do on a sunny day.
The outdoor water faucet is frozen hard
and the indoor water’s turned off so the pipes won’t freeze.
It’s just too cold so let’s go skiing.
What to do when: Have got to decide how to offer tours
but it’s still a pandemic
and a reservation system seems pointless
when you can’t plan your boiling times.
You’ll think about it on the ski trails.
What to do when: Pick up the empty syrup drums-
all eighty of them up in Hardwick-
three van loads plus the roof rack-
there’s no good day for this
and it takes two.
What to do when: Must set up the sugarhouse for boiling
but brrrr, it’s colder than outdoors in there.
It takes a good twelve hours.
There’s no big hurry – yet.
Let’s go skiing. This powder snow won’t last.
What to do when: Leap into a new blog season,
but there’s no one counting down at the starting gate.
There’s no starting gate.
Today snowmelt dripped off the roof, though,
for the first time in a month.
The snow can’t last,
but oh, what glory this February.
The first sap run: no one knows.
“Give me a featherbed or give me a tightrope.
I’ll take the tightrope.”*
*A quote from The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen