I am trying to come out of "hibernation mode" right now. I resisted it a long time this winter. I painted the kitchen cabinets, I painted trim, I brought new goats home, but it happened anyway. It was grey and snowy so long last month that I just did my chores and then curled up with a good book. UGH. As much as I love to relax, I hate coming out of it. And it's time, baby, it's time.
First, it's this time again:
Does that look familiar? How about now?
Oh yeah, it's tappin' time! I was late this year. I kept thinking it should be the second week of February, then it snowed, and I didn't get out there to tap until the 11th. I should have started on the 1st, so I was pretty late. Ah, we make due, right?
No matter, because I upped the "tappage" this year from 16 spiles (I keep wanting to call them splines) to 29 spiles. In the last three days, I have gotten 37 gallons of sap. 37. Last year it took me a week to get 10 gallons. This year, I got 10 gallons the first day (and 15 the next, but who's counting?). I honestly believe that though the number of spiles helps, it's the colder weather that's making the sap run better. Last year was not cold enough. This year absolutely has been.
We are using the turkey fryer method again, this time the one my brother bought us last year. The dang thing is rocket powered and is cooking like a champ. I am very pleased with it, but I would still like to switch to wood. The propane is expensive, and the wood is not. That will be on my list for the next time, I think. For now, I'm super duper happy to have this working well.
I met my neighbor who lives behind me when I was tying up the taps the other day. He's the one I copied last year when I had no idea when to start. He's a very nice man, and was pleased as punch to see that someone else tapped their trees, too. He's been doing it for 26 years, so you know, a minute or two. We talked shop a little, and I've made a new friend. So nice!!
Let's see....what else? It snowed. There's a shocker.
It's a real pretty snow, the kind that brings all the trees closer to you, somehow. The pictures cannot capture the feeling no matter how I take them. It makes me glad to live in the woods. Though, I'm always glad to live in the woods, so it's really just a bonus.
And I'm building again. Oh, I love building. We've moved the red coopette to the "front yard", and I'm building a screened run for the fancy chickens. The three little silkies are loving the garage, but they need to move out. I am expecting chicks next month (supposedly), and I don't want them in with the chicks, eating all the food. So the little coopette is cleaned, and the run is being built. And I'm loving every minute of it, don't you know. :)
On the rabbit front? I thought you would ask! It looks like Camille has been bred (to Buckley, which was planned), as she's digging to nowheresville in her house and making a hell of a mess. All my girls seem to make a hell of a mess before they get "nesty". I don't know why. Unfortunately, it looks like Bella may have been bred, too. Freaking PJB. He hopped the fence one day when she was in the next run outside on the only non-snowy day we had in January. I found her hiding in the corner, away from him, but he may have gotten to her. She's digging to China, too, and that's a pretty good indicator on her part. Grrr.... we'll have to see. All of those bunnies will go up for adoption, though, even if I have to donate them to Agway. Not a one of the last litter is making a good fiber rabbit, sweet as they are. I just don't have the space.
I saved the best for last,you know. The little abandoned bunny boos? Well, they are doing just fine, thank you for asking.
|We call her "big Bertha". She is huge, compared to the little black ones.|
|This is feeding position. She has just finished scarfing down 13 ccs of milk.|
Growing like weeds, just like they should. In fact, they outgrew their little nest box and have been jumping/falling over the sides, so they've been moved to classier digs.
Yep, that's an old (and clean) litter box. We are purely class here.
They have more space and plenty of hay to nibble, if they're so inclined, which they have been. I also put feed, but they don't understand it yet. They will. Mom will come in to feed only at night now, and very reluctantly. I think she may be drying up, because the littles go under and grunt and complain and when Daphne hops out, their tummies are still small. So we're back on the milk and syrup routine, but I'm going to have to get some probiotics in them soon so they can start to digest other things. We're not out of the woods yet, but their eyes are open, and they are inquisitive and growing, so things are good.
|Thor doesn't care how clean that box is. He knows it's a litter box. He doesn't understand why I won't let him use it. Bad laydee!!|
Ok, well, I think things are good. Thor has another opinion. Honestly, I can't wait to see what happens when there are goat kids in the house. He thinks this is stressful, just wait!