Thursday, March 9, 2017

#100dayproject | day 6

Smoke and steam - a sight for sore eyes!

Woohoo! We fired up the evaporator for our first boil of the season on Tuesday and we feel like kids in nature's candy shop!

The thrill at the sight of the Sugar Shack's billowing smoke stacks never diminishes. For one, there are many hurdles to overcome in the business of getting our 500-700 tap operation all set to go. Miles of tubing to inspect and repair. Equipment to tweak. Supplies to order. So we get pretty stoked when everything falls into place and we are ready to light that match. One can get so busy with the succession of tasks that it would be easy to forget what really makes the endeavor so special. 

Sugaring season is a harbinger of Spring like no other. Maple sap, the lifeblood of the trees, is like Spring in a glass. Around here, we drink it up while we can and even freeze some so that we can experience that subtle sweetness later in the year and remember. 

Remember the sound of the frozen trees creeking in the wind and the hollow in the snow at the base of each tree. Remember frozen fingertips and sweaty brows. Remember walking on the top of the snow, the crust holding our weight... and then not quite holding our weight any longer. The bite of the wind and the intensity of the sun. The indescribable blue of the sky and impossible green of the first shoots of wild leek. Remember the joy in seeing the clear, life-giving liquid spill from the tap hole before the spile is placed in it. Tipping our heads back for the first taste.

That we are able to harvest this tree juice and turn it into the sweetness known as Maple syrup is a bonus. The connection with this miraculous season - and the ancient tradition of sugaring - every year is the real treat. 

Did you know that our Maple sugaring operation is an all-volunteer run project? We call it the Friends of the Wagbo Sugar Bush and we have both working and supporting members. Our mission is to share the Agri-Cultural tradition of Maple Sugaring with our greater community through production of Maple products and participation in the process (volunteer and educational opportunities, field trips, tours and events). We are run by the community, for the community.

Come connect with us and the trees. We love to share this experience. Volunteer - no experience required, a variety of skills are appreciated. Schedule your group field trip. Attend our Annual Open House - always the last Saturday of March.

Or just pop in when you see the smoke and steam arisin'!

Monday, March 6, 2017

#100dayproject | day 5

Once you go inside and weed through the muck, you will find the real beauty, the truth about yourself.
- Lindsay Wagner

Last week, overnight, from the cold, grey muck, a shoe.

The freeze/ thaw of the pre-Spring keeps us guessing as to what the weather will be like in a week, a day, or even this afternoon. Also a mystery is what we may have missed all these months under a blanket of white. Real beauty, in this case as ever, is in the eye of the beholder. Real truth, often to this mother's chagrin, is the ease with which the escapades of late fall can be forgotten with the first freshly fallen snow.

But sometimes what emerges, even before the little green sprouts, is another chance. Spring is a basket full of metaphor - life, rebirth, renewal. Transition, forgiveness, hope.

Alas, I fear this shoe was revealed too late to reconnect with its partner. However, it was a lovely trigger to reconnect with you, dear reader, and with our #100dayproject.

So after a short start and a long break, we are at it again, and hope to keep sharing connections, taking breaks when needed, and then reconnecting with the optimism and persistence of Spring.

And on the morning that I found this little beauty of a shoe? I didn't even have to wait until afternoon to find out the weather was changing once again. :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

#100dayproject : day 4

Are we too connected? A little twist of the plot of my morning had me revisiting the issue of responsible use of the technology in my pocket. Here's hoping that, for more of us, having the one kind of connection (measured in mbps) doesn't interfere with the other. :)

this here so-called smart phone distractomafone device
the blessing or the curse
of our much divided attentions, safely connected tethered

Monday, January 23, 2017

#100dayproject : day 3

happy to see
bees in january
understanding, as i do
the need
for occasional
how perfect and lonely
they lie
on the surface
i bring home the dead
just a few
the better to see them
i leave them on the counter 
turn my thoughts
to dinner


my daughter of nine years
rattled, righteous
as one by one
the five bees revive
drunkenly they stumble-crawl
in slow-motion, clumsy
but what have i done?
we watch them
for such a breathless
intimate moment
our thanks and apologies
quietly given
as we return them
to the cold

This, of course, is a honeybee. It came out of the hive on a "cleansing flight"
and did not make it back. All normal and natural for this warm day in January.
However, the rapid decline of honeybee 
in the last decade
due to Colony Collapse Disorder is not. 
They are one of the myriad victims of the careless ways in which we've abused
the connection between our actions and our environment.
Another is the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee,
recently placed on the Federal Endangered Species List.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

#100dayproject : Day 2

Watch out - girl on the move! 

During the film portion of the Wagbo Feast & Film event this evening, I got to hang out with the sweetest little sweetie pie. She was utilizing her newly realized mobility to get around in the world. So. Much. Fun!

The rest of us were watching a documentary highlighting women in various Australian hunter-gatherer societies. In it, women moved across a landscape so familiar to them, realizing ancient traditions and techniques for utilizing plants that had been passed down to them. At their sides, a new generation watched and learned.

Around the globe today, womenfolk were mobilizing, utilizing their right of assembly, hoping to realize equality for all in the face of renewed threats and a time of uncertainty within our own democratic republic.

First we crawl, then we walk, then we march!

Sending a shout out to all the peaceful protesters around the globe today! Thank you for standing up, speaking up, showing up - Women's Rights are Human Rights are Environmental Rights are Women's Rights! Yes, we are connected!