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      CommentAuthornerdo
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2019
     
    I've never had poison ivy, so I might be one of the immune ones? I've stood directly next to someone who did get poison ivy, but I was unaffected. Weird.Worstcase I'll just zip tie on a seat... but i'd rather not. —Zev (who else)
  1.  
    frrreeeeeaaaaaaaakkkkk!DFL and DTF :D:D:D:D
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      CommentAuthora_lion
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2019
     
    the amount of laundry i've been doing to prevent spreading this further is pretty excessive. on the plus side, the syrup i made from all the sap i got infected while collecting is delicious! the people coming to my maple sugaring program this weekend better fuckin appreciate what i went through for themThat may be my favorite DQ of all time - nerdo
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      CommentAuthorNandy
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2019
     
    yum, syrup"life is hard, cats are soft." - surprisefries
  2.  
    mmmmmmmmmm

    minifries really wants to plant maple trees in our back yard so he can make syrup...DFL and DTF :D:D:D:D
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      CommentAuthora_lion
    • CommentTimeMar 28th 2019
     
    it, uh...it may take a while... find a woods that already has some? (and then wait until next march-ish cuz at least around here, the season's at the end)That may be my favorite DQ of all time - nerdo
  3.  
    Haha yeah, we also had to tell him we don't have room for a sugar shack.DFL and DTF :D:D:D:D
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      CommentAuthora_lion
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2019
     
    ok but that part matters less! i used a big roaster oven thing (crockpot type device) and just kept it going in the garage, covered with some mesh to keep out bugs, for ~a week, turning it down at night when i went home, adding another gallon of sap every time it was down an inch, cooked off the last 2-3 cups of water in the kitchen (sounds like you may already know enough to know you don't want to do the majority of the cooking inside cuz that's a bazillion gallons of sticky water you're evaporating into your house to make your walls sticky) waaaay less paying attention than doing it over open fire! just let it slowly steam its way condensed!That may be my favorite DQ of all time - nerdo
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      CommentAuthorStinky Cheez
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2019 edited
     
    I was super envious, the Pre-K at my daughter's school went on a field trip to the sugar shack of one of the father's a of a third grader (my daughter's in second), and they posted photos. And then one of my fellow board members went on the field trip, and she talked about it at the meeting.

    Basically I'm super jealous.

    I also saw photos of the former owner of my house sugaring, so I'm wondering if he somehow tapped trees on our property, or maybe more likely tapped on a neighbor's property because he was lumbering here. He did have what looked to be a good sized trough shaped boiler.

    ETA: To be fair last weekend was sugaring weekend and there were a lot of sugaring events, but to me that reads as tons of people from Connecticut.
  4.  
    Wow i would never have thought of that!DFL and DTF :D:D:D:D
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      CommentAuthora_lion
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2019
     
    Stinky Cheez:
    I also saw photos of the former owner of my house sugaring, so I'm wondering if he somehow tapped trees on our property, or maybe more likely tapped on a neighbor's property because he was lumbering here.


    over the summer while trees are actually identifiable, check it out and put some neon markers on any maple trees you find! don't have to be just sugar maples

    surprisefries:Wow i would never have thought of that!


    assuming you mean the roaster oven thing, i had the idea (and the roaster oven) and found a single person on the internet blogging about doing that successfully, and it was on!That may be my favorite DQ of all time - nerdo
  5.  
    brilliant!DFL and DTF :D:D:D:D
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      CommentAuthornerdo
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2019
     
    ^^Link? I've always wanted to try this but became intimidated by the process...Worstcase I'll just zip tie on a seat... but i'd rather not. —Zev (who else)
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      CommentAuthora_lion
    • CommentTimeApr 2nd 2019
     
    lost to the sands of time, but literally just start with a few gallons of sap in a roaster oven (4 fit comfortably in ours), cover it in something to keep out bugs (i had spare window screen), crank it to the max, with the lid off, and just let it evaporate off water for a bazillion hours/days in your garage or somewhere else with excellent ventilation. when the liquid level has gone down ~an inch, add another gallon of sap, until you've eventually got all your sap in there, and keep cooking until it gets down to just about an inch deep. at that point, pour it off into a very large pot and put it on the stove over high heat (may bubble up significantly, hence the large pot), with a candy thermometer, cooking until it reaches 7 degrees above 212 (or whatever water boils at at your altitude). filter through cheesecloth/coffee filter to get out any separated out sugar, and hey presto, that's syrup!

    *if you go away for the day/night, just turn the heat down to low/200 and put the lid on, crank it back up when you return

    you can also just do it in a large pot/turkey fryer/something with huge surface area like a chafing dish over open fire all in one day, but that requires keeping an eye on things in a way this oven didn't (and, again, when it gets down to ~1" deep, move it to a smaller pot so you don't burn it)That may be my favorite DQ of all time - nerdo
  6.  
    I could probably only do this outside, so it would also require squirrel/rat-proofing. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm....DFL and DTF :D:D:D:D
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      CommentAuthora_lion
    • CommentTimeApr 2nd 2019
     
    put it in a big dog crate and...something around the crate idk...??That may be my favorite DQ of all time - nerdo
  7.  
    haha this could be funDFL and DTF :D:D:D:D
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      CommentAuthora_lion
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2019
     
    all manner of nonsense is worth trying in the pursuit of delicious!That may be my favorite DQ of all time - nerdo
  8.  
    indeed!DFL and DTF :D:D:D:D
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      CommentAuthornerdo
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2019
     
    I would need to bear-proof mine, possibly. And find a maple to steal the sap from. But it'd be worth it!Worstcase I'll just zip tie on a seat... but i'd rather not. —Zev (who else)
  9.  
    Haha, my dad had to bear-proof my parents' bird feeders. It was multiple years of trial and error.DFL and DTF :D:D:D:D
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      CommentAuthora_lion
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2019
     
    our pest guy says his #1 recommendation is get rid of bird houses, they cause Too Many Problems luring in other thingsThat may be my favorite DQ of all time - nerdo
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      CommentAuthornerdo
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2019
     
    Yes, I don't like having coyotes lurking around either (or raccoons or rats, for that matter), so I don't do birdseed of any kind.Worstcase I'll just zip tie on a seat... but i'd rather not. —Zev (who else)
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      CommentAuthora_lion
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2019
     
    (yeah obvs i meant bird feeders not bird houses, bad at words)That may be my favorite DQ of all time - nerdo
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      CommentAuthorNandy
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2019
     
    bonus: after making your own syrup, you'll be stoked to only pay $20 for it at the store because now you know how much work goes into it!"life is hard, cats are soft." - surprisefries
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      CommentAuthornerdo
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2019
     
    ^Lololol, so many things are like this. Cheese, for instance.Worstcase I'll just zip tie on a seat... but i'd rather not. —Zev (who else)
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      CommentAuthora_lion
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2019
     
    sure it cost $20, but not getting poison ivy so bad your ear splits open? priceless!That may be my favorite DQ of all time - nerdo
  10.  
    hahaha

    Yeah we were up in VT visiting my in-laws the other weekend, and there was an article in the local paper about how everyone has to get their feeders down by April 1, 'cause the bears are coming out hungrier than usual this year.

    My dad eventually came up with this tree-mounted hoist system that gets the feeders out of bear reach. Then a bear figured out how to drop the feeders, so he had to modify it again. Great success now, though. He also claims to have invented the conical squirrel baffle.DFL and DTF :D:D:D:D
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      CommentAuthora_lion
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2019
     
    i look forward to hearing next year how he has worked out a perpetual cycle of drones to hold them upThat may be my favorite DQ of all time - nerdo
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      CommentAuthorNandy
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2019
     
    I am so scared of bears you guys

    When we did that tour back to Boston we stopped at an REI in Rochester and looked for dog spray and all they had was bear spray and we were like "pfft, we don't need that" and then we got to Pittsfield state forest and there were signs about bears spotted and I was p nervous. Made it out, though"life is hard, cats are soft." - surprisefries
  11.  
    My parents have at least one bear hang out in their neighborhood for a week or two every spring and fall. Black bears generally aren't dangerous as long as they don't have cubs, and as long as you don't sneak up on them. I've never been wilderness-ing in grizzly territory, that would definitely make me nervous.DFL and DTF :D:D:D:D
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      CommentAuthornerdo
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2019
     
    We have a couple resident bears on the island. Last spotted two nights ago about a mile from my house. So scary!Worstcase I'll just zip tie on a seat... but i'd rather not. —Zev (who else)
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      CommentAuthorNandy
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2019
     
    noooooo fucking thanks, I'mma need at least several states in between me and any possible grizzlys plz"life is hard, cats are soft." - surprisefries
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      CommentAuthornerdo
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2019
     
    Ours are black bears, but there are possibly one or two cougars lurking about as well.Worstcase I'll just zip tie on a seat... but i'd rather not. —Zev (who else)
  12.  
    We've got black bears, like surprisefries said, generally not a big deal. Our trashcans usually get hit in the spring and late fall when they're about and particularly hungry... scared one off once by shouting and holding my hands above my head to make myself look big. Felt a little bad for the huge creature who ran away when I yelled.

    Speaking of coming across creatures unaware (apologies if I already mentioned this), I was out for a run last week and came across a (eastern) bobcat crossing the road. Had one of those "say, that's a really large muscular cat, oh wait, it's a bobcat" moments. I stopped midstride and said "Hey, cat" and it took one look at me and took off running the other way down the street. Wouldn't you know it I had my phone in my hand but it didn't occur to me to take a photo until it was way off down the street. In one photo you can sort of see the backside of a large cat headed toward the brush on the side of the road.
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      CommentAuthorNandy
    • CommentTimeApr 7th 2019
     
    y i k e s

    I mean sure, they're statistically way less dangerous than say, driving on a highway, but still that's a scary fuckin huge animal that could wreck you easy. Massive cats are even more terrifying tbh. Every day I'm like "damn, we're so lucky Mr. Kitty (our v bad house cat) is only like 10 lbs, any more and he'd be a fucking monster""life is hard, cats are soft." - surprisefries
  13.  
    haha, monster cat!

    ^^awesommeeeDFL and DTF :D:D:D:D
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      CommentAuthora_lion
    • CommentTimeApr 7th 2019
     
    2 of my barn cats are 15 pounds and they're so dang hefty. cleaning out a goat pen last week, found just a bird head...That may be my favorite DQ of all time - nerdo
  14.  
    \m/ \m/DFL and DTF :D:D:D:D
  15.  
    From what I've read Eastern Bobcats aren't that dangerous, they're rare to see because of the hours they keep and the fact that they're generally very shy around humans. They're relatively small, too, like an oversized way more muscularly-built house cat.

    Still, if a person actually stumbled on one it could be pretty ugly. Glad it wasn't interested in me and I saw it from 15 or so feet away.

    https://vtfishandwildlife.com/learn-more/vermont-critters/mammals/eastern-bobcat
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      CommentAuthornerdo
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2019
     
    I saw a fisher cat crossing the road in the Berkshires while bikepacking one weekend. It looked like an insanely large weasel. Wildlife is cool!Worstcase I'll just zip tie on a seat... but i'd rather not. —Zev (who else)
    • CommentAuthorAlphonse
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2019
     
    I saw a fisher cat crossing the road in Lincoln once. It stood in the middle of the road, staring down the few cars that had stopped until the last of her babies was safely on the other side and then finished crossing herself without rushing. J
  16.  
    Wow, I didn't know they ranged this far South. A few years back there was one knockin' around right outside my in-laws' place in Southern VT.DFL and DTF :D:D:D:D
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      CommentAuthorNandy
    • CommentTimeApr 14th 2019
     
    aren't those the things that make weird-ass sounds or something? Shit terrifies me"life is hard, cats are soft." - surprisefries
  17.  
    Yeah, supposed to make an awful sound. Supposedly they're around here, but I have yet to see one.
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      CommentAuthornerdo
    • CommentTimeApr 14th 2019
     
    I saw what looked like a giant weasel once in Brighton when I first moved to Boston. I thought I was imagining things but later I learned about Fisher Cats and thought there was a reasonable chance I'd seen one. But that was hindsight. The one in the Berkshires was the real deal.

    I've also heard one, I think. I was doing an evening walk through some woods outside Albany with a friend and heard a crazy-ass screaming sound. It was super freaky. Though it could've also been a fox. They apparently have super shriek-ish calls as well.Worstcase I'll just zip tie on a seat... but i'd rather not. —Zev (who else)
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      CommentAuthora_lion
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2019
     
    i had a spatter painting event today, where 2 dozen+ kids (and some disabled adults) walked the 1/2 a mile down the lane to the (very flooded) woodlot, then wandered around in there to find nice leaves n things, then came back to the barn to do the spatter painting painting (leaving the outline of the leaves in all the dots).
    i had posted on the park district's volunteer website looking for two volunteers to help guide people from the parking lot down and around the wood lot and then do the painting and two brand new volunteers signed up. today they came out, filled out the registration paper, and then, before we'd even explained their role today, went to "get their boots from the car" and just fuckin' left. meant it was just my assistant alyssa and i and all those people, large distances, and families who also wanted to hang out with baby animals pulling our attention away from those still art-ing. what the hell? honestly this almost went in TINSHIFA because i'm SO baffled why they'd even bother coming out/arranging to come in the first place!?That may be my favorite DQ of all time - nerdo
  18.  
    This was from Saturday, but I'm still a bit pissed about it.

    Went for a ride with my daughter (8 in a few months), and was riding on a dirt road by a popular local swimming hole (it's a culvert where the water passes under the road). There were two dogs in front of the house right next to the swimming hole, one on a leash, one off. The one off-leash came up to the edge of the property as we were riding by, but it didn't look particularly mad, so I told my daughter it was cool and to keep riding (keep in mind she rides super slow).

    Just as she's coming up to the dog it bares its teeth and vaguely snaps at her, and she shrieks, and I yelled "yo, back off dog" and then "yo, thanks a lot for leaving your aggressive dog off leash" (technically there's no leash law outside the village, which we were, but they're supposed to be under voice command) at nobody/the house I suppose. And this older lady comes out and starts yelling at me that the dog never left her property, and yadda yadda, and initially I'm all "uh, ok lady, but it snapped at my kid, don't appreciate that" and we keep riding - but I can hear her continuing to yell at me well up the road (like, out of sight after going through a few turns) and I yelled some fairly vanilla things back along the lines of "sure, whatever, nobody cares" and eventually some more choice words.

    The thing is, it's an out and back route, so I knew we'd have to come back by once my daughter tired of the sorta hilly dirt road.

    Anyway, we came back down the road, and the lady's still out there, but now she's shoving that dog back into her house, and we got into it again (with me still riding by, although at one point I turned around and went back toward her)... lots of back and forth, "it never left my yard" vs "lady, from my perspective your dog snapped at my kid, I saw it, don't tell me it didn't happen" and then strangely she asked if I read the note attached to her mailbox, which presumably was about the dog, to which I pointed out that I hadn't and that I had no intention of reading it, and she ranted about cyclists causing problems, which devolved into her telling me she raised two kids and I was raising an entitled kid, then she tried to pull the "you don't even live in this town" business, which is false, and "the path to the culvert is on my property, you can't use it!" (we live in a different section of town that has its own swimming hole, and at this point my kid prefers the town pool, so kinda meaningless threat to me). At some point I said "get help, lady."

    I could almost swear she yelled something about me not riding up her (public) road again. I yelled "go fuck yourself" over my shoulder from down the road.

    Seeing she feels that cyclists are always complaining about her dogs, and that she felt compelled to stay outside for 10 minutes to get into it with me again as I rode by again, I'm gonna chalk it up to her being nuts, but she should prepare herself for seeing a lot more of me if she's going to say shit about me not riding on her road.

    Maybe she's nuts enough to actually remember what I look like, and connect it with the different-looking photo of me in the local paper article about me running for the district-wide school board (already on the local one which is dissolving), and she'll tell all her friends not to vote for me? That would be a nice bonus for me, because damn do I want my "opponent" and fellow current boardmember to win (he would likewise prefer that I win). So many meetings.
  19.  
    PS: That house is a stone's throw from my younger daughter's school so I took a driveby after dropoff this morning... I didn't see any note on the mailbox? I wonder if she put it out just for me and then took it back in? Confused.
  20.  
    That's bananas.

    Def keep riding on that road, but were it me I would have to consciously restrain myself from escalating.DFL and DTF :D:D:D:D