RicelandMeadows


Dashing Through The Mud
March 28, 2015, 10:25 pm
Filed under: March 2015 | Tags: , , , , ,
Mad Dash for Sap

Mad Dash for Sap

March 28, 2015

Last evening we made a mad dash to gather all the sap before the cold weather set upon us. We got started about 3:30 pm. The wind was cold and snowflakes were starting to fly. The sap bags hanging on the trees w ere starting to skim over with a thin layer of ice on the sap. Many of the bags were full to the brim. I simply had to get them all gathered before they turned into frozen bags of ice.

I used a couple of young men whom came well recommended, but whom I had not met. They caught on quickly and did a great job. We slogged through the freezing mud from tree to tree. We had to clean the ice off the strainer pan every few buckets. The boys took it all in stride. They got soaked from the waist down as we worked. The temperature dropped, as we worked, into the teens. It was crisp to say the least!

At 8:15 we were finished. They boys helped me unhook from the sled and put the horses away. I was very grateful. My fingers were cold, but worse than that, the tug chains and almost every buckle and snap on the lower parts of the harnesses was frozen. The tug chains were even frozen to the doubletrees. I would have had a heck of a time by myself, perhaps even winding up in a tangled wreck.

When we finished we had gathered 1260 gallons of maple sap. We spent much of today boiling, making maple syrup. The sap continues to not be real sweet, so our yield is down and the ratio of sap to syrup is about double what we usually see….this batch came off at about 80:1  I am burning lots of wood, doing plenty of work and even though the results are not the best… I am smiling from ear to ear… I love this job…mud and all 😮



Riding out the winter
February 3, 2014, 8:02 pm
Filed under: February 2014 | Tags: , ,
Te bee log, tucked in out of the weather

The bee log, tucked in out of the weather

February 3, 2013

   Freezing rain, followed by snow created this pretty picture yesterday morning. It was beautiful to see. The bee log rests in a sort of alcove in the white pines on the edge of the back pasture. The winds are less in that protected place. I hope the bee gals are all safe and doing well. I will know for sure in spring.

   The weathermen are all a buzz about a new winter storm bearing down on us. The storm is supposed to slam us starting tomorrow, late afternoon. I will get hay bales moved, pens cleaned and bedded, in preperation for our next winter blast. I, the guy who loves winter, am starting to tire of the constant cold and ice … not enough to ever move, just enough to whine a little bit 😮

   Our drive is still an ice slick. I managed to fall and crack my elbow this morning. It was a humbling experience, made a little better because no one saw me do it. I do have a goose egg on my arm and a small bruise on my ego. I used to bounce much better than I did this morning.

   Chores keep me busy this time of year as we ride out the winter. Feeding and taking care of the animals does take up a bit of my day, but it is a nice time, unhurried and full of gratification. It is almost restful as all of us are a bit lazy. We eat more, rest more and take a little more time out for things like looking at a beautiful morning landscape… so it’s not all bad!