Sunday, March 09, 2008

sugar & ice

The irony of yesterday's trip to the sugar house wasn't lost on me. As we were sipping the hot life blood of our maple tree friends—and letting its warm tonic trickle down our throats—the trees were left to withstand an unbearable test of nature in the cold whipping winds of the ice storm. Their sap froze—hard, cold, unmoving. Some of the trees did not make it through the storm. As we drove back to Burlington today, we saw the destruction of what just a little ice can do. For some trees the weight of ice was too much to bear and they broke.

Luckily, though, the damage was not at bad as it could be. I remember the ice storm of 1998, when many of the trees in the north country were completely destroyed—reduced to messy piles of timber under the weight of a week-long icy tirade. Driving from the Northeast Kingdom up to Montreal, Quebec was like venturing through a gray wasteland, with sharply snapped tree stumps the only evidence of life that once was. Many new trees have since grown to replace them.

Thankfully, the two ice storms of the last week were not as bad as that. And the glimmering, ice crusted landscape is actually quite beautiful. Here are some pictures from the drive. And I've also posted pictures from the sugar house.

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