Just try to taste that sap. I dare you.

Just try to taste that sap. I dare you.

I don’t know about the sap in the above photo.  You could try it if you want.  But considering the experience I had today tasting pine sap…I do NOT recommend it. 

For some reason, I was thinking of that luscious maple sapsicle from a couple weeks ago.  Wasn’t it lovely?  Wasn’t it sweet?  Wasn’t it delicious beyond words, at least before it fell from my eager hands and crashed into a zillion pieces on the dried-leaf ground?

So today, not really thinking, passing by that pine tree I lazily allowed a finger to sweep up a bit of the juicy dripping sap…

AHHHHH!   AHHHHH!!!  My mouth suddenly filled with acrid turpentine-taste, one of the most awful tastes known to mankind.  I spit it out for ten minutes afterward, trying to forget the experience.  I am hoping you’ll remember this, next time you placidly reach for a dripping bit of sap.  Get your trees straight.  Avoid the pines with a vengeance.  There’s only turpentine dripping from those trees.

The last of the snow melts delightfully away...

The last of the snow melts delightfully away...

The snow is disappearing.  It’s official.  There’s only random piles here and there, mostly plowed-up drifts in key driveway positions, mostly in shady areas.   We surveyed the woods beyond the deck this afternoon.  Only one tiny tiny pile lingers way out there.  And it’s dissolving under the near-60 degree temperatures.  Oh hurray!  Spring comes to the North woods.  It’s official.

Look at that baby leafing lupine in the ditch behind our garage

Look at that baby leafing lupine in the ditch behind our garage

The eventual pink and purple and white lupine flowers are pushing their introductory green leaves through the dried leaf cover.  They’re looking at their internal watches, knowing they’ll bloom in late May or early June. 

OH!  And more excitement; I almost forgot.  Last night Barry woke me up (he’s always waking me up after 10 p.m. bedtime with outdoor news) with the breathless announcement:  The Spring Peepers were peeping!  Those are the tree frogs which roost on trees and sing their spring and summer songs, filling our dark nights with wonder.  The tree frogs are back!  I am truly hoping to convince one of the lovely frogs to pose for a photo shoot sometime.  Barry says we need only ONE rainy spell before they’ll burst into wild and abandoned night-time song.  They’re very late this year, almost a month later than normal. Now it’s mostly like “croak!”…wait…”croak!”….wait.  But they’re plotting their egg-laying.  In puddles of quiet stagnant water. That’s why they’re singing.

Surprises in the woods; yellow tips sweep up from green plants

Surprises in the woods; yellow tips sweep up from green plants

Besides this excitement of snow melting, spring peepers and turpentine-tasting sap, nothing else seems new.  Except maybe this last photo of animal hair, up-close (probably deer?).  It seems enchanting, like spinning thread.  I tried to entice a yearling toward my hand a couple of days ago with a fat orange carrot.  The deer stared longingly at the vegetable, but declined to come close.  (Wish I’d been as cautious before tasting that pine sap!) 

Threads of silken deer hair nestled in the dried leaves

Threads of silken deer hair nestled in the dried leaves

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