The latest Lakeville Journal Piece, readable here with free registration, concerns the onset of Maple Season in our neck of the woods:
" This year, in the final days of February with daylight temperatures reaching the mid-40s, I spotted sap weeping from the drill holes of a woodpecker. I retrieved the buckets from winter storage and scrubbed them to a galvanized shine. The children and I searched the sunny side of the trunk for another hand-span between faded scars to place the spiles, setting the drill at an upward angle so the sap would flow freely. Each percussive drop in the pail obeys a particular rhythm — one spile runs faster, one slow and steady — which to me is a soft and comforting music. Given time and the right conditions, nature’s slow accumulations will produce a gallon of sap, or an inch of soil."
Two weeks ago, this piece ran on New England's weather:
"Today, as I write, there is bright, cloudless, late-afternoon sunshine outside my window. There are no high-riding mare’s tails, no mackerel skies to net the setting sun, but there is a low seam of clouds lurking at the horizon west of the mountains. It could be a cold night ahead without a blanket of clouds, or it could snow before morning."
As an editorial aside, I find that I've been saving up my local natural history blogging for these bi-weekly columns. I am also writing more outside the blog, both newspaper and magazine articles and my slow but steady efforts at an historical novel based on a counterfactual premise that Washington was captured at Trenton. There are chapters in every life, and so, too, with this blog, which has evolved considerably from its humble origins back in the fall of 2005. I no longer feel compelled to compose a daily post, though I have not lost interest in Walking the Berkshires or this medium. Thanks for sticking with me as we see what evolves.