View My Stats

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Massachusetts - observations

Impressions by Paul Van Middlesworth (in response to emailed message below):

My impression of Mass comes from 2 visits. Boston is a phony city like San Fran only with worse traffic and dumber drivers. I couldn't abide spending the nite there so I drove up to Gloucester to hang with real people. At the Holiday Inn bar I got drunk enough to ask how could sane people keep electing Kennedys. The fisherman on the next bar stool spun around and addressed the bar. "Any here ever vote for a Kennedy?" The "Hell no" response was deafening. I fell in love with Gloucester.

--- On Fri, 3/11/11, Lyle Davis wrote:

From: Lyle Davis
Subject: News you don't normally get . . .
Date: Friday, March 11, 2011, 6:20 AM

I have a friend from high school (100 years ago) who lives in Massachusetts. Never been to that state, but sounds like a pretty place.

I post this only because it's something we don't normally see in the news . . . something out of the ordinary:

Our temperature will be near 50 today, so we'll get a major melt off. Might not have been a problem, except we're also expecting nearly an inch of steady rain most of the day. With the ground still firmly frozen, that water is gonna' run off into the streams, and rivers, so some flooding is almost inevitable. We don't expect any problem on our lake, since it was lowered last November, in anticipation of heavy snows.

Our temperatures have been up, and down, over the past week, and the sap is flowing in the maple trees. The latest report is that an abundance of maple syrup is in store. Back in the '80's, we were invited to a friends farm to help with the 'sugaring off' in late March. A more ardorous task than I realized, but a fun experience. I don't recall that there was much snow on the ground then, so the wagon full of sap buckets was towed to the 'Sugar House' with a tractor. This year I'm thinking it will be towed with snowmobiles. The smell of the sap, being boiled down into syrup, is still fresh in my mind. Each 5 gallon bucket of sap produces about a quart of syrup. Acid rain, from the steel mills in Indiana, has taken a heavy toll on the younger maple trees here, and the quality of the syrup has been affected, so even a bountiful harvest won't bring in as much profit as a mediocre harvest in years past. As the older trees pass their prime, they are cut down for firewood for the boiling tanks, but the younger trees growth has been affected, and they aren't able to keep up with the loss of the older ones. It's less of a problem further North, out of the path of the pollution, so quite possibly the syrup industry in Massachusetts is on it's way out.

No comments:

Post a Comment