enjoying the wild

blue jay
this blue jay has been hanging around outside my place for a while. one of my goats recently had a stillbirth (sad), and i hadn't decided what to do with the little body yet, so i left it outside... i didn't necessarily want to encourage the dog in the eating of tiny goats. turns out the blue jay loves it.

syrup season - spiles and tapping
despite the prevalence of 'polar vortex' cold lately, it Is the time of year that's typically best for starting to tap trees for sap. this year i'm trying to tap my shagbark hickories, and possibly a few walnuts, too. though nowadays most folks only think of sugar maples for tapping, it used to be common to tap a wider variety of trees. we'll see how it goes.

the prep, at least, has been incredibly easy. i carved these spiles out of sumac from the roadside, hammered flat the end of some relatively thick wire and used it as a gouge to hollow them, made a hole in the tree with my hand drill in the proper manner, and set up a bit of siphon hose to drain into a 5 gallon plastic carboy. i think, in Total, all of the prep has taken about one hour.

now it just needs to warm up... i'll let you know how it tastes.