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I am not a fan of winter. Have you been able to glean that fact about me from my posts this year? Probably, if you tune in often.
Some people LOVE winter. They love to snowmobile, ice fish, ski, or ice skate. They don’t mind putting on layers and they appreciate the chill in the air. They are crucial to the economy of the Brainerd Lakes Area in the winter. Those people are not me. I am not those people. I do not enjoy winter.
I like to be warm and I like to wear a moderate number of layers – 2 or 3 tops. You know, tank top, long sleeved shirt or sweater and a puffy vest. That kind of thing. I like to go outside and go for walks. I like to wear TOMS. Those things aren’t possible, or at least not practical in a Minnesota winter.
In the years past, I have been too busy to really have time to hate the winter. In high school, I was in sports all winter. Even before that, I was always in sports or activities, and when combined with a typically junior high or high school homework load, I was busy. In college, I was still incredibly busy, but I started to hate the winter more. I think it was the fact that Matt was living in Hawaii and I was visiting often that made the winters even more daunting and let’s be honest, gross.
Last year’s winter seemed long. But March was BEAUTIFUL. The ice went out on my parent’s bay on March 30th, 2010.
Let’s look at March 30th, 2011. Today. Yes, it’s sunny outside and yes, it’s 40* out there. But there’s snow covering 96% of the ground and there’s a 5 foot snowplow mound outside my window. We have last week’s 10 inch snowfall to blame for the fresh snow. Before that, we were almost to the bare ground! The forecast shows consistently above freezing temps, even into the 40’s or maybe even the 50’s in the next week or two. But I also see rain/snow in the forecast. Ohhhh, how I hope it’s rain and not snow!
I am ready for spring. Yes, the calendar says it’s already here. But the actual environment outside begs to differ. Only the fact that it doesn’t get dark until 7:45 pm and that there are drips of melted snow falling from my roof prove to me that spring will indeed get here. Sooner or later.
On Monday, I was over at my parent’s house. I brought my camera over and walked around the yard for a bit as the sun was setting. I think I found a bud or two. The maple trees have their sap flowing right now, and my dad is in the processing of taping a tree in the backyard to make maple syrup. Did you know that the ratio is 40:1 for sap to syrup ratio. That means that if my dad collects 10 gallons of sap from the tree in the backyard, he’ll be able to make 1/4 of a gallon [1 quart] of maple syrup. That’s so much sap for not much syrup!!
The photos that I took clearly show that winter is still here. But at the same time, I can feel a hint of warmth to them – like spring is trying to wiggle it’s way free from the depths of the long, cold winter. Winter is fading and I’m happy to see it go.
The photo below shows the maple sap dripping off of the branch. The sap is clear and then when you boil it down, you boil out the water and it turns brown. Interesting, eh?