Thursday, March 22, 2012

Needless to say, the sapping has been quite slow here at Moose Look Lodge this year. The weather has not contributed to the flow of sap from our maple trees. We tapped 31 trees on February 14th, Valentines Day and only had two days that delivered a total of 22 gallons of sap over a three week period. This is not considered good. But we began to boil down the sap, like I said before, it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup, so our 22 gallons should give us a tad over a half gallon of prime maple syrup. We boiled down the sap for two days and were down to the last couple of gallons of sap when I went into the house for a fresh cup of tea.....never leave your sap house when the boiling is down to the finish line....when I came out a few minutes later, smoke was billowing from the garage. I lost the whole batch of syrup, ruined the small pot I had transferred the sap to and wanted to sit on that black bucket and cry. But the smoke was so thick and smelled like burned candy that I couldn't hang around long and had to open all the doors to air it out. As my good friend Curtis, who saps every year from over 100 trees told me, "if you are sapping and never had a fire, you are not sapping....the good news is you didn't burn down your garage like most do..." That didn't make me feel that much better but I did get back into the process that afternoon after cleaning up the mess. The result two days later was our first half gallon of grade A dark amber syrup. To date we have made a half gallon of syrup, we don't know how much more we will get as the temperature here at Moose Look Lodge was 94 degrees yesterday, the first day of Spring, and may get higher today. Although the sap was still running from some of the trees, it has slowed down considerably. The weather is turning colder this weekend and night time temperatures should be below freezing, we hope that will bring the sap back for one more run.

There is never a dull moment here at Moose Look, unseasonable warm temperatures have melted the snow and brought the deer to the feeder. But don't think for a minute that old man winter isn't going to sneak back in for another run, it is still early in the spring and he doesn't give up easy.

Now is the time to begin planning your adventure in Maine and using a Professional Registered Maine Guide to make in memorable. Don't forget to call Joe and Liz at Lake Parlin Lodge and Cabins for a reservation at the finest cabins in Maine. You can visit their site at

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Jeff and Lynn

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Roar like a lion

March 1st roared in like a lion with 15 inches of fresh powder, making it the biggest storm this year. The skiing was the best we have had all season and Sunday River left the powder ungroomed for the skiers. The snowmobiler's  have been pounding the trails since Thursday. The ridding has been excellent all the way north. Joe Kruse,  President of the Jackman Snowmobiler's club and owner of Lake Parlin Lodge and Cabins,, tells me that the trails have plenty of snow and are groomed daily. Friday was a beautiful day here in Hanover, so my brother in law Bob and I took off Friday and ran the trail from the Bear River Store at Newry corner to Andover. Along the way you pass the memorial for the KC-97 stratotanker refueling plane the crashed on Jonathan Smith Mountain on June 27th, 1960 taking the lives of all five service men on the aircraft. The debris field covers 5 acres.

Unfortunately, our sugaring project took a back seat to the weather as the sap stopped flowing. However, today I hear the pinging of the sap hitting the metal buckets which is seasonal music in the western mountains. I anticipate the sap will be flowing heavy towards the end of the week as the temperatures should be up in the 40's. Our flock of wild turkeys have found the deer feeder and we counted 20 gorging themselves early this morning. The spring gobbler season starts on April 2nd and is shaping up to be a very good one with the mild winter. Once again, it is a great time to visit the Western mountains of Maine.