The sap is running! It finally got warm enough for the sap to travel up the trees where our taps drip it out one drop at a time into the metal sap buckets. My husband has been using snow shoes to collect our 20 buckets and now we are boiling it all on the porch. We upgraded this year from a one burner and one pot turkey fryer to a free standing two burner car camping stove and two large flat chafing pans. This boils substantially more sap incredibly quicker. I love to stand next to the boiling sap and immerse my head in the sweet smelling steam rising voluminously from the pans. Careful not to scald my face or lungs, I breath it in and revel in the sweet beauty of maple syrup making.
THUWMP! The whole house shakes with the force of the impact. It warmed up today, and the snow is slowly sliding off the roof as a long think ice slab which randomly breaks off in giant chunks that fall and hit the foundation. The low toned thuwmp is often preceded by a muted scraping sound as part of the snow pack breaks loose and skids off the metal roof. All this excitement has the cats somewhat freaked out. Every time a piece of ice falls, they run around trying to figure out what is causing all the commotion in their normally calm environment. The biggest cat is the most afraid; he just hides under the sofa and won’t come out until the ice chunks freeze back into place later this evening when the temperature drops (or when ever he gets hungry). Some day I’ll sit at the window and actually see some of it fall.
Oh JOY! Oh RAPTURE! I am exceedingly happy that in is now officially SPRING!!!! I don’t care if it is still cold and the ground is still cover with feet of snow. The daytime is now longer than the night time! This has bee a long hard cold miserable winter. It am profoundly delighted that winter is finally done. I didn’t do anything special, but I did go outside and sit on the porch to enjoy the fresh crisp air of the first day of spring. Now, of course, I am looking forward to rafting season and summer! The first day of spring is only the beginning!
Driving over the reservoir this morning was exciting because there were bufflehead ducks in the water! Yes! Spring is coming! Even if it’s still cold and snowing, spring is near! Buffleheads are wild to see with their prominent black and white head dress. They are another sweet harbinger of spring. Nature’s cycles coming round again. The buffleheads have returned!
They must be migrating or something because there were Red Tailed Hawks everywhere today. The whole drive up and back from Albany, I must have seen multiple hawks every few minutes. I spotted them sitting in trees, hopping along the side of the road, perched on fence posts, wheeling and darting through the air, soaring on wind currents. I found them in back yards, in fields, in forests, on small towns, in a school parking lot, and in Albany. They were flying singly, in pairs, and multiples. I don’t think I have ever seen that many hawks in one day before. I guess they are ready for spring too! They are on the move looking for the greener grass on the other side.
I contacted a rafting friend who lives in Albany, and went over to see him today after my radiation appointment. It was a pleasant day, mostly sunny and warmer than it has been. He took me to his favorite tea and sandwich shop in downtown Albany where we met another friend and had tea and sandwiches. There is a small park across the street from the cafe where most of the snow has melted so we sat at a picnic table in the sun to eat watching all the people walk by in their business suites and professional clothes. It was blissful to sit in the warm sun (although the breeze off the river was a little chilly) and talk and eat and sip warm strong tea. I do like to people watch and today was a good day for it. Of course seeing old friends again after a long while makes you feel warm and cozy inside too. I didn’t want to leave, but time doesn’t stand still and they had other obligations to meet. Today was a happy day with cheerful tea and a pleasant company.
I am back up north in the Adirondacks, sitting with friends on a porch, watching nighttime slowly blanket the earth. We are talking and laughing, hanging out and enjoying the warm evening, slapping black flies and mosquitoes. A yellow crescent moon peaks out from behind a billowy cloud above the eastern ridge. I smile as we discuss the earth’s rotation on its axis, its revolution around the sun and galaxy, mysteries of astronomy and physics that give us our regular cycles of life. Then suddenly, up in the dark tree branches silhouetted against the night sky, one lone yellow green spark flashes. I sit up and point, but of course its gone. A few moments later, in a slightly different spot if flashes again. I realize its a firefly, the first one I have seen this year! I try to show everybody, but it seems only to flash when only I am looking in its general direction. They tease me about my imaginary firefly, my little star fairy spreading pixie dust through the pine trees on the hill. I see it several more times before it fly away out of sight. Fireflies are purely summer creatures, symbols of warm evenings and endless summer fancies. Welcome back little fireflies!