Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I won a bet, with myself

Last Wednesday we moved another sow into a farrowing pen and by Friday I was convinced she would farrow shortly. With my limited experience of three weeks behind me, I am hardly qualified to be the pig whisperer. But she was salivating heavily on Friday, her tits were pretty much dragging on the ground and she was following my every move. I took these to be signs of her becoming territorial, which pigs will do when they are about ready to give birth. By Monday morning she still had not farrowed. I said to one of the the follow workers " I bet you on Tuesday she will have her piglets." Sure enough, this morning when we went to feed her and the other sow she already had four piglets. And was still hard at work. In total she had five, but one of them died.

I was feeling pretty good about winning the bet with myself. Sure, predicting when she would farrow could be considered beginners luck. But let's not burst my bubble just yet, OK?

After morning chores we drove to check on the maple trees to see if we collected any sap. The sugar maple trees were tapped yesterday afternoon. It was a gray day and snow blanketed the ground and it was beautiful sight to see the fat and thin maples with the hanging buckets. Sugaring off always brings back lots of great childhood memories. The buckets were filled about two to three inches each with sap. As I dumped the buckets into the collecting container, visions of bacon, pancakes, scrambled eggs boiled in maple syrup and taffy on snow danced in my head.

Nicole, one of the fellow interns, noticed the the metal taps were stamped with a made in Canada sign. Damn right! We, are the kings of maple syrup. As much as Vermont tries to steal that title. Quebec is the number one producer in the world. I consider maple syrup to be as integral to my identity as poutine and hockey.

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