Saturday, March 29, 2014

Waiting for Godot

Okay, this will be a bit of a rant.

I checked my records and since 2000, the latest I have started the evaporator is March 15.  Yesterday (March 28) the forecast was calling for +8.  I was pumped.  This would be the first truly warm day this year.  My only concern was one or two barrels might overflow.  During the past 2 weeks, the sap has run marginally, interspersed with cold snaps.  I would get 2-3 inches of sap (not enough to pump into the reservoir) which would then freeze.  Repeat.  I now have barrels half full of frozen sap.  So, a good run would result in sap overflowing the barrels.

Fortunately, Lee Anne had run 50K yesterday and warned me that it never got very warm.  Seriously?  The first day since November that it would be above 3 degrees and they were wrong?  This morning I checked the temperature for the previous 24 hours.  It went up to a scorching 1 degree.  Not happy.  I also noticed it was -5 this morning and that the record low for March 29 is (was) -2.  Very not happy.  Today's high is zero, but don't worry, tomorrow's high is going to be 4!  Yeah, right.

The real problem is that the clock is ticking.  All maple syrup producers know that circa April 15, it gets warm.  The frogs croak, the snow melts and the trees bud.  Note that last point.  Trees bud because the sap changes chemical composition.  It is time to make leaves, using energy stored in the roots, transported to the buds via the sap.  That chemical change in the sap spells the end of making maple syrup.  The sap "sours", foams like crazy and can even turn to gel.  Pull the spiles.  So, I am now anticipating a short season, even if the sap continues to run past April 15, it will not run well.

Running:  It has taken a back seat to prepping the sugar shack, digging out mainlines (over and over) and helping with house demolition.  The house is close to being a shell now, down to exterior walls, load bearing walls and the roof.  Soon, the roof will come off.  If the sap doesn't run soon, I could stand under the ceiling and blow the roof off...

I did get out for a run yesterday with a few fellows at work.  We ran on the treadmills at the Honda gym, as running on Industrial Road in rain is not much fun; there are no sidewalks.

Good luck to all those running the new Laura Secord Memorial run on April 5.  I think the Bruce Trail down south should be fine by race day.  I am looking at Pick Your Poison, as my 2014 inaugural race.  Just 25K, to ease into the season!

1 comment: