March 16

March 18, 2010

WEATHER: Below freezing (27) for four hours last night, high today in high 40’s.

SAP STATUS: This warm weather sap is no longer as clear as a glacial lake.

SYRUP STATUS: As a result, the grade has dropped. Today we made borderline A Medium Amber/A Dark Amber syrup.  Passed the 2000 gallon mark today.

TOUR OF THE SUGARBUSH, continued: Starting back at the sugarhouse we’ll hike up to Keystone, the parcel of state-owned land we are tapping for the first time. This parcel fits between Morningside and the MainMain like a keystone, or like the space between the two arms of the letter V.

Keystone Main Line follows Herbie’s Highway, named after Herbie Leach who hauled logs out on this logging road in the 70’s and early 80’s. It ascends steeply at first, then moderates where it cuts close to Falls Brook. Just before  the Falls Brook crossing, we will leave Herbie’s Highway and follow the mainline up another logging road. The entire south and south-east flank of mountainside to our right is Keystone. The woods feel spacious and welcoming to hikers and snowshoers. There are many beautiful maples. Presiding over the higher, rougher terrain is The Old Foreman.

SEVEN DAY NITER PRIMER, Tuesday. The quality of the niter indicates how far along sugar season has progressed. During those early runs there is little niter, you don’t see it except as it sticks to the pans. If a sugarmaker dips her scoop into the trough and what comes up is half syrup and half sugar sand, she knows early season is over. She is happy to see the coarse, gritty sugar sand since it means the season is here to stay for awhile. And heavy, sandy niter filters well.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: ” M says to tell you she’s bringing dinner up.”

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