157: Sunday signage, a snowman and some tappingPosted: February 27, 2011 Filed under: 365 Life in the Bogs Challenge, Adventures in Life, Earth, goals, home, Local Tourists, nature, Photography, snow, Spirit, Sunday signage, water, weather, winter | Tags: Chapin Forest Reservation, cross-country skiing, Mantua, maple syrup, memoirs, Ohio, postaday2011, signs, tapping 17 Comments
(Sign for s sign store in Mantua, Ohio.)
First things first: Thank you all for your well wishes. It must have worked. After the best night’s sleep I’ve had in weeks, I woke up this morning pain-free and feeling great. Thank you, thank you, and thank you. And you too. 🙂
M and I did go skiing today. We have to drive through the town of Mantua to get to the place where we most like to ski (Chapin Forest Reservation). Not everyone appreciates driving through Mantua, mostly because you have to slow down to 25 mph to go through town and the local cops are usually ready, willing, and able to give you a ticket for speeding. (Frankly, it’s a speed trap, especially in the summer months.) One of the reasons I enjoy going through Mantua is because it was (well, still is) the home of one of my favorite signs (pictured above). I love the play on words. The place is for sale now. I don’t know if that means they moved or if they went out of business.
This blown-up doll of a snowman was not the only snowman we saw today. The snow has finally acquired a texture good enough for making snowballs, snowmen/women, snow penguins, and snow forts. It’s been a strange season in that regard, with snow so fluffy and dry that making a snowball (much less a snowperson) was almost impossible. Kids of all ages must have been out having a good time yesterday and today, building snowpeople in their front yards. We passed quite a few of them on our way to the ski trails.
We had a great time skiing. I almost didn’t want to stop. We went further than we have before, which is par for our skiing course. Each time out we go a little further, a little longer. This will probably be out last chance to ski this season. Rain will be arriving tonight and it will be warm tomorrow. It will cool down a bit after that, but it won’t be a major winter-type cool down. Upper 30’s, low 40’s.
I was thinking of leaving that caption hanging out there without an answer but that hardly seems fair. One of the other things you would see right now if you were to drive through Mantua are collecting buckets hanging from the maple trees. Any idea what they might be collecting?
I wrote this post a couple of year ago, describing the annual tradition that involves maple trees, taps, and collecting. I didn’t have many visitors to this blog at that time. Perhaps it’ll get a few more readers now. Just in case you don’t feel like visiting an old post, I will tell you that the bucket represents a sign of spring in these parts. The maple trees are being tapped for their sap which will be turned into some of the tastiest maple syrup you’ve ever had. I know most folks think of Vermont or Canada or other places up that way when it comes to maple syrup. But Ohio has some really tasty maple syrup, too. If you want to read more about it, go see that old post I linked to a few sentences ago.
We capped off our day with margaritas on the porch. The sun was shining, it was warm and lovely out there, and it seemed a good day to do a little celebrating. M is firing up the grill for our black bean burgers as I type, reminding me that I should get upstairs and get to work on the rest of our dinner.
The only slightly sour note to the day is that I seem to have lost a year’s worth of photos from my external hard drive. C’est la vie. We’ll either figure it out and find them or we won’t. I’ve been having a series of problems with the computer lately, things working off and on, and M did some maintenance on it today. It may be time to look into getting a new one. In the meantime, I will continue to sing love songs to my current computer as it seems to me electronic equipment (and cars) work better for me when I tell it how wonderful it is and give thanks every time it works.
It is a custom that began with my first car, a 1960 VW beetle. The car was only 15 years old when I started driving it, and it lasted a few years after that. M and I gave it up when the front end fell off on our way to a picnic. The guy at the shop said you can only weld so much before there is nothing left to weld on to. We replaced the VW with a 1963 Ford Ranchero. But that’s a whole other story…