We enjoyed watching today’s USCC Snowmobile Race. The race was moved to the West Cove of Moosehead Lake because of some bare spots on the trails…but this actually made it easier for us “spectators”. We are looking forward to this being a yearly event!
In New England, maple sugaring is the first sign that spring is on its way! Maine is one of the very few places where the sap from a maple tree can be tapped and then turned into maple syrup. This is part of what makes Maine and Maine Maple Syrup so special.
Maple sap cannot be harvested just anywhere there are maple trees. Certain weather conditions are necessary in order for the sap to flow properly for harvesting. The required pressure level needed to get the sap flowing is created when the tree freezes and thaws. Thus, warm days and cold nights make for optimum maple sugaring conditions.
When the pressure from a maple tree thawing reaches a certain level, sap is collected. This pressure allows the sap to flow from the small holes that are made to collect the sap.
Most of the sap is still gathered the old-fashioned way, in buckets hung from trees, and boiled down to syrup over wood fires. Many of the larger producers use labor saving modern technology. They gather the sap with plastic tubing strung all the way from the trees, gravity fed to the “sugar house”. Once the sap flows from the tree, the sap must be processed within a few hours or it will spoil, therefore syrup makers work around the clock.
From holding tanks (which may hold as much as a thousand gallons), the freshly collected sap (usually about 3% sugar) is fed continuously into the evaporator. There it is kept constantly boiling as it becomes more concentrated. When the syrup reaches a temperature of 7 degrees above the boiling point of water, the sugar-density is perfect. Immediately, the syrup is filtered to remove particles of “sugar sand.” These, although harmless, would make the syrup cloudy. After it is clear, the finished syrup is packed in sterilized containers and sealed, ready to be enjoyed around the world.
The syrup is sometimes dark and rich, or sometimes pale, gold and delicate. Similar to wine, much depends on the soil composition and terrain, as well as the wind and the weather.
It takes approximately 40 years for a sugar maple tree to reach tapping size. In a good year, one large tree may produce as much as 60 gallons of sap without suffering any injury. That may seem like quite a lot, until you realize that the sap will be reduced to only about 1½ gallons of syrup!
“Maine Maple Sunday” is held every year on the fourth Sunday in March, which is March 28th this year.
This event is when Maine maple producers open their doors to the public to demonstrate maple syrup making. The Maine Maple Producers Association has created an interactive map of participating sugarhouses. Enjoy this experience personally with free samples of maple syrup on ice cream, mini pancakes and muffins, maple candy, door prizes and much more at some of Maine’s best maple syrup producers.
Smell the aroma as boiling sap fills the air and is transformed into sweet Pure Maine Maple Syrup.
We just had the Snofest Fireworks on the East Cove of Moosehead Lake. We took these pictures from our verandah…
talk about a bird’s-eye-view!
The first snowstorm of 2010…and I’m sure it won’t be the last!
I just took these pictures of the inn and the steamboat The Katahdin. You can see the snow falling in some of them. It is snowing so hard that you can’t see the lake or the mountain views.
When this storm is finished tomorrow, I’ll be able to take some great photos of the mountains & lake.
We have partnered with a local guide to offer both dog-sledding and snow shoeing packages. With all the snow that has already fallen this year, it will be perfect for both sports!
Dog-sledding packages can be 1/2 or full day (with lunch). The dogs are well socialized and you will be surprised how they each have their own unique personality. We have both gone dog-sledding and we really loved it!
How about snow shoeing in the moonlight? Our guides offer flexibility in both duration and time of day.
If you are looking for “green sports”...these definitely are!!!
Contact us and we will set it up for you! www.GreenvilleInn.com 1-888-695-6000
With the cold temps we have been having, the lake is freezing and should be ready for ice fishing and the start of ice racing…yes, there actually is ice racing on the lake.
The ice racing takes place on Saturday afternoons and is on the West Cove of Moosehead Lake. The cove looks like a parking lot with all the spectators parked on the ice enjoying the race. The ice usually gets 3 feet thick, so driving trucks and cars is commonplace.
I have tried to photograph the ice races in previous years, but my simple diital camera could never catch the action. This year, I hope to be more successful with my new Sony DSLR a380 which is capable of capturing action shots. I am just beginning to experiment with it. The pictures below are some of my first attempts. Let us know what you think.
With the large amount of snow forecasted, I am hoping to also get some great snow shots…the only issue will be how to get to the road if we get as much snow as they are forecasting. I hope it isn’t windy so the snow will just be “floating” down and I will be able to take advantage of it.
All of our guests have arrived safely and have enjoyed the sunny (although very cold) day today. We are very happy that the wind has stopped!
We hope everyone has a very happy, healthy New Year!!
We are still processing last minute Gift Certificates!
To order securely online Greenville Inn Gift Certificate
My favorite part of the holidays is enjoying all the Christmas lights. When you think about it…each house and business is decorated to give some joy to others who will see them. As different as each of us are, so is each place uniquely decorated. Thank you to all who decorate for us to enjoy!
Thought everyone might like to see some photos from last year…I think we had over 10 FEET of snow…and we’re off to a great start this year…and it isn’t even officially winter yet!!! We anticipate a GREAT snowmobiler season!