It rained all day yesterday and into the night. Today it was cold and windy, but we had a respite from rain. I decided to get outside for a bicycle ride. Though the wind and cold sap your strength, it is more fun than sitting on the turbo trainer watching last year's Tour de France videos.
With the coming of spring, the signs are appearing everywhere that life is stirring. I hear more songbirds calling, but I still haven't seen any redwing blackbirds. When I see the redwing blackbirds, I know for sure that spring has come.
I rode north following the east branch of the Owego River. A few years ago, I saw signs of beaver in the river about 15 miles from my home. Now, I saw beaver dams and a lodge around 10 miles from here. Last spring I saw beaver signs just down the street from our house, though the river is too an large here for them to dam the river. Upstream, the river is slower and there are more small creeks for the beaver to navigate and dam.
The sap buckets are on the maple trees. A nearby neighbor has a small sugarbush just down our street. About 2.5 miles up the hill from our house, there is a sugar shack making syrup. Real, fresh maple syrup is so much better than the syrup you find in the grocery stores. The thought of a hot, steaming plate of pancakes with maple syrup sound real good right now after my bike ride in the cold!