Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Damp, Dull, Dark, and Dreary - But you asked for it...

I've been asked by everyone, "What's up?" and "When are you posting?" and the truth is, I've been trying to spare you all, but since you asked...


It's been raining, and raining, and raining. And then, raining. Everything is damp. And muddy. Even the chickens. This is Blueberry, a normally fluffy, bright Blue Cochin. (Well, OK, light blue-grey.)



These are the sheep. (Or at least sheep-butts. ) Not anywhere near as interesting as say, lambs. They are dull. At least lately. No shearing excitement, no woman exploring their ewe-terus, no sheep-coated cuteness. Don't get me wrong - I love them dearly. But they do have their high moments and their low...


Today was the last of the maple season. We took in the taps, tubes, tubs, and pails. The sap is cloudy (a sure sign) and the syrup is dark. The earlier in the season, the lighter the syrup. (That's where grading comes in). We produce "kettle" syrup, cooked over an open fire, which is already darker and richer in flavor than commercially produced. But when it's this dark, it's time to wrap up the season. We produced over three gallons of syrup, which translates to something over 120+ gallons of sap collected.



And, well, these are the neighbors. Turkey vultures. Each afternoon they circle the farm, in huge loops; there are over a dozen of them. I was never able to get more than two in the camera lens at one time, circling before they roost in the pines. Even in their red-headed ugliness, they usually evoke a sense of awe as they glide in a blue sky, but this grey is just dreary.

(Sigh)

(Perfect weather to curl up and knit some socks...)

4 comments:

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I was one of those wondering when you would post again, so thank-you! Did you breed any ewes this year? I am lambless at this point, too; sure glad there are blogs full of lambs to admire!

That really dark maple syrup looks divine. I LOVE intense maple flavor, not that grade A stuff.

Kathy L. said...

You reminded me of just how good Upstate NY maple syrup can be! I had forgotten that it rivals Vermont's syrups - giving them a good run for their money! ;-)
(But then I'm a bit prejudiced about Upstate NY....)
Here's hoping your doing OK with all that weather...send some our way, would you? All we're getting is wind and I had enough of that when we lived in Kansas...we need any moisture you can spare.

melanie said...

Michelle-

We did not breed this year, as I wanted to get a handle on what size flock our land could affordably support, I wanted to micron test to make sure I was breeding the finest of the ewes, and I need to find a ram (or AI source) that I want - black HST would be nice....

So I live vicariously through all of you that are lambing - I "watch" you all daily!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

So how does one order some of that divine-looking syrup? Do you have an online store? Or do you sell it all wholesale?

Since we're both living lambless this year, we'll just have to have fun shopping for the perfect flocksire. After checking into it, I've decided buying one and then reselling him, even at a loss as a wether, is still more economically feasible than AI.