Sometimes I forget what awesome things we have right in our own backyard (Well, 15 minutes away at the local nature preserve. But it might as well be my own backyard.)
On a cool but sunny Saturday we took a little field trip to one of the local maple syrup festivals. It was a lovely, relaxing drive through the countryside, passing lovely little houses and beautiful waters that will be even more beautiful when green hits the trees, and a lovely day to get out of the house. We even spotted a little pick-your-own blueberry place on the way that I’m planning on visiting later this year once they’re in season.
As it turns out, maple syrup? Not really all that interesting. Which, really, I knew that. I’m not a stranger to things such as this. You tap a tree, you collect the clear syrup, you cook it down, filter it out, and then enjoy it on your pancakes. Not really rocket science (OK, the way they explained it sounded far more complicated… but whatever). However, I haven’t ever actually seen it done in person. And besides, how can I resist a chance to get outdoors and in some woods? On a farm of all places? (My niece made a point to constantly remind me that it smelled like horse poop and refused to believe that it was actually a nice smell to me. Maybe I’m weird and just too stubborn to realize it?)
I wish I could say that I came home with a giant gallon jug of local maple syrup. $10 in your pocket doesn’t get you very far with maple syrup, however. And, thanks to our weather this year (the lack of a real winter, in particular) the syrup production is down so I imagine it’s going to go even higher. Maybe one of these days I’ll get my farm with some sugar maples of my own to tap.
I remembered to grab my camera on the way out the door, but only had enough battery power to do a few quick shots. If I didn’t have to rush off to work I would have recharged and played with more photos – it’s not very often that we get nice frosts where you can see the ice crystal formations so nicely.
Just a few short days since my last post this little hyacinth has really started to bloom. There is a small hint of its sweet scent if you’re close enough to it – I could smell it while I took pictures – but not enough to perfume the entire room. I think I have a love of photographing flowers because they fade so quickly. Too quickly, if you ask me. Sometimes I wish I lived in a warmer climate where I could have blooming flowers year-round, but I try to remind myself that the bitter, barren winter makes me appreciate little things such as this so much more.
Though the winter equinox is over a month behind us, the days still darken early. A dismal gray fog settled among the trees and fields today, contrasted by amber-shaded grass in the ditches. It was beautiful and eerie all at once. The image brought Sleepy Hollow to mind.
Candles glow on the dining room table, the kitchen, the bathroom, etc for extra light indoors. I still have my holiday tree up simply because I love the soft glow the lights give off despite the holidays being well over. My oil lanterns are nearly out of fuel. I spend my evenings trying to make up where Mother Nature left off.
We’re having a ‘partly cloudy’ evening, and it made for a very pretty view of the moon on my drive home from shopping today. I really dislike how dark it gets so early, but Mother Nature does make up for it with some spectacular views sometimes. Laying on the grass in the middle of the summer to look at stars is usually pretty disappointing for me – it always seems like the best views are when I least want to be outdoors – in the middle of winter in the bitter cold.