I find myself very jealous these days of those who are living a bit further south! Although we had a glorious day Saturday (must've hit 60*F), we are back to rain/ice/snow today. After all, it is still March!
None-the-less, signs of spring abound. For example, it is sugaring time here in the North Country! I went out Saturday on the Lake Placid Loop and took in a couple different sugaring operations. The one in which I was really interested was at the Uhlien facility in Lake Placid, which is operated by Cornell. They have installed a Reverse Osmosis system, which literally sucks the sap out of the trees via vacuum. On a really good day they can get up to 800 gallons of sap an hour! When I was there they were pumping at about 400. This is then piped up to the "RO" machine, which uses reverse osmosis to pull out a lot of the water. The now super-concentrated sap is then sent to the evaporator pans, where it spends much less time than it does in a traditional sugaring outfit. They end up producing about 30 gallons of syrup an hour! And instead of it taking the usual 32-40g of sap per gallon of syrup, with the RO method they only need 6-8g of sap! It's pretty amazing.
Pictures? Of course not - I was on vacation and as we all know, I do not own a digital camera. I have some tax refund money coming, though, and it is REALLY tempting to use it for getting one!
Other signs of spring we have in Newcomb: buds on my daffodils. I'm back to work tomorrow, so I'll keep my eyes open for coltsfoot - the first flower of spring in these here parts.