The sap has been flowing slowly but surely this past week, and yesterday I drove out to Roheryn Farms where my spiles are placed. The Shelleys had already gathered 12 gallons from the woods, and I set out into the woods, buckets in tow, to collect the most recent sap.
As I glanced behind me, I realized I had quite a lineup following me down the tromped-down path in the snow. Of the dogs, first was Balin, then Berin, and lastly Breggo. They're all brothers from different litters- Springer spanial/Aussie/Cattledog. (The German Shepherd in these photos is Connor).
The dogs all get along well, and with the Shelleys dogs and my own, plus occasional visitors from neighboring farms (Lincoln and Reagan) and friends (Wilson, Gizgo) there is often a huge pack of dogs to great anyone who stops by the farm.
The best part of collecting sap yesterday was being greeted into the woods by a black cat named Orthanc. (They also have a white cat, Ecthelion and a grey cat Mithrandir... if you're a LOTR geek like I am, you're no doubt noticing a pattern here...) Trailing behind the entourage of dogs came a swishing black tail, nearly the only bit of him visible in the deep snow. He chirped and followed me from tree to tree, narrating the entire experience in a wide variety of funny vocalizations. What a strange little creature!
It definitely made the experience more enjoyable to have a whole company of friends along in the woods.