Spotted salamanders on the move

Catherine and I have recently gotten involved in an ongoing effort to monitor vernal pools in our area, part of a broader region-wide citizen-science project.  (It’s wonderful what you can find the time for when you retire!)  As a consequence we have become aware of the challenges that amphibians (frogs and salamanders) face when breeding time comes in early spring.

A vernal pool above the sugarbush

One of these challenges is migration – the frogs...

Maple Pecan Pie, Revisited

In the early days of this blog -- back in December 2010 -- I wrote about baking a pecan pie with maple syrup.

I've made a few pecan pies since then (they continue to be a favorite at family gatherings) and I've made a few refinements.  And last Christmas my niece Sophie gifted me with a splendid cookbook entitled "Pie" by Ken Haedrich, from which I learned an important secret about pecan pie.

It's all about browned butter.

So herewith I offer...

Sugaring season ends well

As reported in a previous blog entry, the sugaring season got off to a slow start due mainly to cold weather.

Well, I'm pleased to report that the season was actually quite good in the end:  we managed to avoid the "sudden death" of a changeover to warm weather -- that is, the nights continued to drop below freezing even as the days warmed up.  Talked to Fraser on Sunday, and he says the season kept going later than he can remember it -- he was...

Hidden Springs website has been upgraded

The Hidden Springs Maple website has a new look and new features.

We've been working on this for more than six months, and we're pretty pleased with the results.  We hope that you will be, too.

Some of the new features:

  • You will find it much easier to specify the syrup grade you want, including specifying a "mixed case".
  • Your personal account login* will now permit you to:
    • View past order information, including tracking numbers for orders in...