Happy spring! The calendar says it’s spring, and that’s good enough for me. We were lucky enough to have a relatively mild winter this year, but we’re still having our customary weird March weather. Rainy and cold one day, sunny and warm the next, then snow, then warm rain, until I don’t know which end is up and I’m just, like, TEA. But we’re having a good time on the weekends, crazy weather notwithstanding, searching out the adventures to be had around the turn of the seasons.
Last weekend we went down to East Aurora and checked out a working maple farm as part of New York Maple Days. Maple Days is a statewide event in which all of the maple producers all over the state open their doors to the public, and we get the chance to see a real life sugar shack.
We visited Stony Acres Maple Farm and it was so cool to see their operation and talk with the producers.
And of course, we left with sugar. Lots of sugar. We bought a medium-sized jug of maple syrup, a box of maple candy, and a tub of maple cream. The maple cream has been my favorite of our purchases – I’d never had it before, although I did bookmark a recipe to make my own a few years ago, and I should probably dig that out and give it a try. Maple is my favorite sweetener (much to the dismay of my honey-loving BFF, but the way I see it, more honey for her and more maple for me).
I wanted to walk over to show the kids where the trees were tapped, but I was the only one interested in taking a walk at the time. So we just wandered around near the sugar shack and saw the tubing in which the sap is pumped into the boiler. It was cool and educational, and I think Peanut had a good time. We’ve been reading books about maple syrup production (Sugar Snow from the My First Little House series, and Curious George Makes Maple Syrup) to prepare for our big outing, so she was really into seeing the sugar shack at work.
Such a cool outing, and something we definitely don’t get to do every day! Maple Days is continuing into April, so local friends, let me know if you make it to a sugar shack!
The following day was the first official day of spring, so even though it was brisk, we bundled up and headed out for a hike at a new-to-us park – Tillman Road Wildlife Management Area.
We explored the boardwalk (which was relatively short) and the network of trails, and spotted some early arrivals – a few Canadian geese and one or two very intrepid Eastern Bluebirds.
Peanut has good days and bad days when it comes to the hiking backpack lately. As you can see, on this outing we caught her on a good day.
If you look closely, I think you should be able to spot a couple of geese. Can’t wait to see more feathered friends as the days get warmer and the sun shines brighter.
It was a weekend of early spring adventures, indeed! One thing that we’ve had to learn (or re-learn, I suppose) since moving here is to get outside and seek out adventures no matter the weather. Early spring is a tough time for me – and I think, for a lot of people. The novelty of snow has long worn off, but the ground is still hard and brown and the trees are still bare, and you’re just ready for the green that is weeks away yet. So it’s nice to know that even when the weather is grey and dreary, there’s still fun to be had.
Have you been out and about on any early spring adventures?