Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tap Dancing

Not sure why this year is so much different than other years, but I don't recall ever reaching mid-March without 2 - 3 contiguous days above freezing.  The average daily high at the sugar shack this time of year is +1.  They are now calling for above freezing on Friday; a measly +1.  From then until March 19, it is not expected to go above freezing.

I need to tap when it is -5 or warmer.  Tomorrow's high is -5, which (technically) means I can tap for about 2 hours, during the warmest part of the day.  But let's factor in how tired I am of waiting for Godot.  I will start tapping tomorrow, damn the torpedoes.  That way I can take full advantage of the huge sap rush on Friday, when it climbs to +1.  Do you know what roots think about +1 when there is 4 feet of snow covering them?  Absolutely nothing.  Roots can't think.  However I would estimate that the ambient temperature just above ground level (near the bottom of 4 feet of snow) will be -10.  And dark.

Worked at house destruction today and took the ceiling in the basement down.  It went quickly, considering the ceiling was comprised of half inch drywall nailed to the joists, with a half inch of plaster attached to the drywall.  I can't figure out why.  Perhaps the house was not heavy enough, with only a layer of "light" drywall?  The MO was simple.  Reach up and grab the plaster/drywall and wrench with slightly more than body weight.  Repeat 3,000 times.  My arms are sore and my fingers are not working well (plenty of typos in this entry, before correcting).  Did I mention that I dug out sap mainlines for 4 hours yesterday?  I can clearly see now that retirement is going to kill me.  What does not kill us makes our arms sore.

Anyway, it is a beautiful day and I should be out snowshoeing, but since I will be tapping tomorrow, let's give it a rest.  I'm too sore to run, but might go for a short one tomorrow before the killer snowshoe.


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