Bricks Tied To My Feet

It was perfect maple sap weather today. Sunny and relatively warm, and below freezing last night. And the trees responded. Some trees had spectacular runs, and some very little or none. But the aggregate was a very good run. The problem was in the gathering.

tracksThe paths I’ve made between the trees with my snowshoes have been like ice roads throughout this maple season. Well today, the combination of sunshine and several days of warm weather rotted my ice roads. Walking along between the trees, the snow came up through the lashings on the snowshoes, and built up into piles of slush. This made my feet very heavy indeed. I’ve learn a toe-kick to remove the slush, but when every step just adding more, eventually I just plodded along.

As the gathering buckets filled up, my gross weight increased. Again, not bad in itself, but I found today that some of the places I’ve been walking on top of the entire season turned out to be brush piles, and the thin layer of snow over them gave way and sent me crashing down through. During a fall, I’ve learned how to quickly set the buckets down before I try to catch myself, and sometimes I’m more successful than others at this move. All-in-all, by the time I was done gathering today, I was ready to close up shop and head home.

I keep telling myself this is a very nice problem to have… that the syrup season is a short one and it should be enjoyed while it lasts. Yes, I answered, but there are limits.

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