Monday, February 22, 2010

Poem for Monday and Maple Sugar Festival

By Maxine Chernoff

     "A crack in everything God has made."

The sweet
               the bitter
               the lamb
the boar
                climate and soil
morose ruffian
                with pretty sons
horse/running man
fish/swimming man
         infractions of love
and equity
              as memory
holds    a life
          by force
of will


The ship date for the robotics regional competition is Tuesday, so Daniel had another long day working on the robot. After the play day on Saturday, it sounds like they're more confident about how theirs compares to other local teams, though schools from parts of the US not crippled by snow may be far ahead of everyone on the east coast this season. Meanwhile, we took Adam to Brookside Nature Center's Maple Sugar Festival, which I think he's pretty much outgrown but he didn't complain about seeing the animals inside the nature center and we figured the free pancakes and syrup might placate him anyway. There are always plenty of adults who are there just for the food, not to see the historic cabin where the pancakes are cooked over a hearth fire or to learn about the taps on the trees. We walked a bit on the trails and visited the conservatory and visitor center, where there were lots of colorful flowers -- in the latter because they were preparing for an afternoon wedding.

The Maple Sugar Festival takes place every year in and around the log cabin in the woods behind Brookside Nature Center.

This year the taps on the trees had to be placed above the snow line.

Volunteers explained how the sap is collected from the trees...

...and how it is boiled down to produce syrup.

Visitors could sample maple sap...

...and maple syrup on silver dollar pancakes, both the homemade kind produced in the park and the commercial kind from Maine.

Local birds who have had to contend with snow-covered ground for weeks appeared very appreciative of the bird feeders.

Paul took this photo of me and Adam in Brookside's conservatory.

I have no strong feelings about Bode Miller and -- sacrilege, I know -- I haven't really been watching hockey, so while I am pleased to hear that the U.S. team seems to be doing nicely, I have no idea how well they've played. My interest tonight naturally was in the original dance, though I must confess that not a single program really grabbed me (except for "Hava Nagila" on ice, which just delighted me, though the Israelis' skating wasn't up to the level of the top pairs). I was pretty underwhelmed by Samuelson and Bates doing lots of grinning and arm-waving instead of interpreting the Dixie Chicks, but then Delobel and Schoenfelder were so out of sync that I was pissed off they finished higher. Even if one doesn't loathe their costumes and dance, Domnina and Shabalin were not skating their best, whereas both Davis/White and Virtue/Moir looked very good but left me sort of meh, and Belbin/Agosto didn't have quite the precision but I enjoyed their energy. I still haven't caught up on all the rules changes, clearly: it's all right to use props now in the original dance, I guess, hats and castanets and handkerchiefs?

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