I felt compelled to change the blog background to what was the normal seasonal activity in my area, maple sugaring. It was a food-gathering activity that Europeans learned from the resident Native Americans. Before the Europeans came, this was the primary source for a sweetener for the Native people. It was an activity that anyone could do. It has become a big business in New York and New England, an important one in rocky areas.
This past winter is about the mildest I remember. I've lived through 57. There was only a week or two of bitter cold before the winter solstice. After that the temperature didn't go below zero Fahrenheit. The temperatures bounced back and forth from the twenties and the thirties. We didn't have a snowstorm until February. Maple trees need the normal cold winter night to produce the amount of sap we're used to. I love the lovely, shady maple trees and the maple syrup we produce from their sap. I'm very worried for them.