Today is the 21st of March, springtime. It was a warm 13 degrees this morning and made 39 degrees by afternoon. Early plants are coming up around the house even with single digit numbers due this week. Don’t put the warm clothes away yet. Snow geese were flying by today with a slightly different call than the Canada geese also traveling north. Our stream called Mill Creek is in it’s high spring flood moving large chunks of ice down toward the West Canada Creek. The water will empty into the Mohawk river and on to the Hudson to meet the ocean as it goes by New York city in a week or so.
This week I spent a day on snowshoes gathering Chaga (Inonotus Obliquus) a fungus that grows on Birch trees. In the Adirondacks, yellow birch is a common forest tree. I love the forest this time of the year. Clear, bright open forest lands with yellow or golden birch trees make gathering such a pleasure. I also made a gallon of Black birch oil from branches smaller than one inch! The oil is in a ceramic pot at 95 degrees for a week or so. It smells of wintergreen and is used in many of our creams. I will be collecting many other barks over the next two months. I will talk of them as I collect and process the many types. The other fun thing happening is Maple syrup . I have friends that make great syrup just a few miles from us and it is a wonderful tradition. Gathering the sap, and cooking it down is a lot of work but so rich an experience that we look forward to it as a spring marker. Kate thinks of the sap as a sweet spring tonic. Cold nights and warm sunny days are the forecast that makes the sap run. Time to go.
Take care Don