Walt focuses on learning the art of drawing off a pail of syrup.


Sunny, calm
Warm then hot –
Smell of earth

Hotter each
day, hotter
each nighttime

Coolness flows
off the brook,
ice is out

No thunder
of snow melt
down the brook

Nor flood of
spring runoff –
Little fuss.

The coaster is courtesy of neighbor Heather Hale who printed it in her letterpress print shop.

HOW’S IT RUNNING? Since Saturday the run has choked off just once, on Monday night (low 24). On two nights the temp at the sugarhouse was in the 20’s but the sap kept running. When there’s an inversion the higher taps run while the lower ones freeze. Sap pushing through frozen lines creates slush which can cause problems in the pump room.

As usual, when the sap runs around the clock it runs harder during the day and tapers off at night. The most lively run of the year occurred yesterday, March 23rd. It still didn’t qualify as a gusher. As goes spring runoff so goes the sap – not much drama so far.

Today, the 24th, was blessedly cooler (50 and cloudy). Tomorrow the 25th is the day we shudder to think about. The temp may reach 70 and stay near 60 all night. “That’s when the buds will get restless,” says Chief of Operations.

Pail by pail.

SAP SWEETNESS: It is creeping up towards 2% sugar content.

NITER NEWS: Shovelfuls of sugar sand precipitate out of the syrup. It’s fun to play with it using our version of a beach shovel, the long-handled square scoop.

Two notable tunes from Walt’s selections that blend well with the steam:

Martha and the Muffins singing Echo Beach. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEQkIEkxm7k

Donovan singing Mellow Yellow.

In the late 60’s we Williston kids sang Mellow Yellow on the school bus during our 45-minute ride to high school. It drove Mr. Aube mad. He parked the bus in North Williston, stood up, and forebade us to sing again. And he made the boys sit at the front of the bus from then on (there were other issues..).But oh, it was a sad day.

2 thoughts on “Weathering the Thaw

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