In the meantime, the sap is running again. I guess it's fairly typical to have several distinct sap runs in one season, as the temperatures fluctuate, but since that didn't happen the first time we made syrup, it seems foreign to me. I have to say that, after navigating through my initial surprise, I am enjoying this drawn-out, stop and go sap season. It's nice to be able to take significant breaks in the sap-cooking schedule without having to worry about the sap piling up. As I mentioned, I finished six half pints, plus a little extra, last week (halfway to my goal) and I'm eager to get back to work soon.
In other news, Bubby and I went out on Wednesday after school to check the taps, just in case. The temperature Wednesday popped above freezing briefly, so although we didn't think the sap would be running, we wanted to make sure.
As we were walking from front to back, somehow the subject of chickens came up, and Bubby made it clear that he really, really wants our family to have chickens. I'm not certain why he wants chickens--I do know he wants a pet, and maybe he's latched on to chickens as the pet most likely to be parent-approved. He even offered to give me all his money so we could get chickens, AND offered to help take care of them, so you know he's serious.
As you may know, I occasionally chicken-sit for friends. It's fun and all, and I love hanging with the girls, but I just haven't been ready to get some of my own. After Bubby's announcement, I started doing a little more rigorous research into the costs involved. Once the flock is established, costs are minimal, but start-up is pretty steep. Not as steep as getting, say, a pedigreed dog, but definitely more involved than getting a goldfish.
I want a flock of chickens and all of their supplies, including a coop, to drop from the sky, fully formed. I don't want to have to order chicks in the mail and drop everything to pick them up at the post office. I don't want to have to keep them under a heat lamp, worry about them getting sick, or pooping in their food or drowning in their water. I don't want to have to worry about the transition from brooder to coop, or deal with the first weird, malformed eggs. I don't want to have to worry about rodents infesting the coop or predators eating my chickens. I don't want to have to deal with spilled food and frozen water. I don't want to have to decide what to do with the hens when they stop laying. I just want adult hens to magically appear and start laying eggs, and continue to lay eggs in good health until they are taken up into heaven a la Elijah.
If I am going to have chickens, I want the universe to super-duper pinky promise me that the experience will be problem-free. I cannot deal with any more yuckiness than what is already present in my world.
We seem to be heading that way, toward owning chickens. It seems inevitable that we'll have some someday. I just don't think I'm ready yet. So I remain ambivalent.
|Happy "Everybody's Irish" Day from me, Gardening Without Skills, and this weird caped chicken.|