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Robins and spring rains

March 23, 2010

I saw them in the back yard on Sunday right before the snow began to fall again.  Tho the snow is all melted away with the rain we have endured for the past 24 hours, it is very strange to have seen them and then  heard the robin song this early.   And sugaring is a bit muddled up as well, needing several nights of below freezing temperatures to make it all work right.  I wonder how the maple crop is going to be this year.   The rivers are swollen and flooding is happening in various parts around Vermont.   

With the odd winter weather we have had, a few things come to mind.  When the sugar houses fire back up, and I hope they do, there is very little snow cover on the ground next to the sugar house.  Vermont’s maple open house is this weekend.  There  is a higher risk of ground fires without the protection of the snow and sparks can fly out from the sugar house.   Good time to make sure you have your fire extinguisher there, just in case. 

George pointed out that with the lack of snow and wonky weather, sugarmakers might run into ticks already.  There has already been a few found on folks in the Champlain Valley.  (If you want to know more about those little buggers, click this  Tick-Lyme factsheet  )   To be honest, I never thought of having to check for ticks after being in the woods in March.  But with all of this warm weather, it is one extra thing to think about. 

I love the smell of maple and the taste and the colors and the whole process of tapping trees to bring forth the natural sweetness.   Must say that I am not used to seeing robins this early, alongside of  tapped trees.

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