These should be three posts, but that’s the way March is going (or nearly gone, as the case may be).
1. Another fox sighting.
We saw our girl around 6 o’clock last evening. Ms. Fox was heading across the lower meadow per usual, near the forest/meadow edge but a bit more out in the open than usual. We had such a great view of her because she was closer and striking against the background of white snow (yes, there is still some snow on the ground). She stopped, peed (definitely a girl!!), started to continue on, but must have heard us in the house talking about her because she started looking straight at the house. And then jogged into the forest and meandered through out of sight.
2. Got syrup!
We had been cooking down the first batch of maple sap the past few weeks, usually adding new sap to the same pot once there was room to do so. Ron finished boiling it down while I was away at a conference. It coincided with a cold snap so no more sap was running. We made about 2 cups of syrup! The sap:syrup radio is rather ridiculous (40:1), but the syrup is well worth the effort. It’s delicious. More subtle and interesting than most of the maple syrups we buy around here. We don’t think we cooked it down quite as much as most people (there is a point where you get tired of boiling down sap…), but it is thick enough nonetheless. And most of all, it’s delicious.
3. Chicken greetings.
I hadn’t seen the chickens in a week because of my trip and the weather. I went out earlier today to dump the compost and feed them “their” compost (apple bits, stale bread, and dead ants from a minor ant infestation in the kitchen). When I got out there, they started talking to me and wandering over towards the regular compost bins. Daisy and Pippi were even brave and started walking on the crusty snow. Most of the chickens really avoid the snow whenever possible. I went around the garden, through the greenhouse, and stood at the edge of the greenhouse in the garden. By then Daisy and Pippi were at the gate between the orchard and garden. They then proceeded to walk across the crystallized snow to come see me. How cute! Some snow had melted from the asparagus patch and on the south side of the greenhouse so they hung out there for a while. Meanwhile, the rest of the chickens were in the little outdoor chicken run by the coop. They were clearly excited to see me and wanted to come around, but weren’t brave enough to walk across the snow as Daisy and Pippi had done. I swear the hens’ greeting was more enthusiastic than usual.