Strong winds in the Sugar Bush

March 27, 2015

03-27-15 tapped treesBy Bob Musser
Farwell resident

If ever a month of the year has been possibly misnamed – it is March. Due to the often unexpected change in its weather, it should have been called January. January was named after Janus. He was sort of a god who had two opposing faces so he could look behind and ahead at the same time. March would have suited him fine since there are times in March 2012, for example, when the temperatures were in the 70’s and 80’s. No sooner did we begin to enjoy this break from winter when the freeze returned again to kill the blossoms on many fruit trees, leaving us with only green leaves but nothing on its branches for the coming harvest. March seems to be the time of the year when we can never count on what it has in store for us.

By the same token, we do hear birds breaking the silence with their melodious songs, plus every warming dawn seems to bring new hopes that we will soon be relieved from the cold and darkness of winter.

We slowly remember, from past experience, that a new season will soon arrive with the mysteries which only nature will reveal at its own pleasure. It is also when we know that the rest of nature’s creatures will also soon awake from their long winter nap.

Usually during March the bulbs are preparing to bring forth their flowers and the sugar maples are waiting for the cold nights and warm days to flow their sap, thru the spiles, yielding their liquid sugar. But then only after 20 gallons of sap are collected and then processed in iron kettles over open fires, will it produce one gallon of its golden delight.
If you have never taken the opportunity to walk thru the woods to see and smell the wonders of this new solstice you missed something indescribable.

One final note – beware of the Ides of March. When in the presence of some presumed friends, the likes of Marcus Brutus, or Arizona’s Jody Arias, you just might feel a strange stab in the back and realize (too late) that you should have chosen a better breed of friends.

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