Winter is passing and cold nights and bright sunny days can only mean it’s Maple Syrup time! On our run this morning we came across trees tapped along the back road.
There are a number of types of maples that can be tapped and apparently these old beautiful trees are just right.
The Blister Sister and some sticky fun!
I had the opportunity to help make maple syrup with a dear friend who tapped the trees on her beautiful property. I always thought it would be a big involved production to make syrup but it wasn’t. She just boiled it down on her barbeque. It was just as simple as the syrup is. Pure Canadian sweetness.
I checked out the web to find out more about maple syrup’s history and production. If you have a minute check it out here. Maple Syrup
The sap is running and trees are tapped!
We wanted to bring you an update on the turtle eggs we saw being laid back on June 12. #100happydays day 28 All through September we kept an eye on the nest. Finally we saw that it had opened a bit.
We are pretty sure the baby turtles clamored out of this hole.
The next day we saw that something had dug it out complete. We were pretty happy to see that some of the little eggs hatched because up to 84 percent of snapping turtle nests are destroyed by predators such as minks, raccoons and skunks. We sure hope most of those special little snappers made it to the water.
We are pretty sure that the nest was dug out by a racoon looking for stragglers.
According to the web: “As with many reptile species, egg temperature during a critical stage of embryo development determines the gender of the snapping turtle hatchling. According to Scientific American, cooler temperatures at that stage produce males, while eggs incubated in warmer temperatures will produce females.” We can only assume because our summer was so cool that most of these little guy were; well, guys!
#100happydays Day 40 Take a book; Return a book
This morning’s run started off in a warm drizzle. We decided to do one of our usual routes backwards. We always chuckle to ourselves how running a trail backwards looks like a whole new trail; it can be much the same for a road run. The route takes us by some pretty homes along the river on a quite road that eventually runs out of sidewalk. Near the end of the road we were looking around at the damage a recent storm inflected on some of the properties when we spied a little “house” on a fence post sitting at the end of a drive way. In all our times running by this spot we had never noticed this little house. It was obvious that it had been there a while so we just had to investigate.
Wow, it was a Little Free Library, take a book; return a book! We didn’t even know there was one in our town, how cool is that!
Having a peek inside this cute little library full of books!
I found out a little more about the little free library at littlefreelibrary.org. What a great concept. You can find these cute little book houses throughout the US and Canada. I can’t believe we haven’t seen one before! Check it out, you might find one in your neighborhood!
We found inside both adult and children’s books, a little library for everyone!
Take a book; Return a book
#100happydays Day 28 Turtle Eggs
This morning’s run was kind of special; we came across a large snapping turtle laying her eggs. Now that’s not something you see every day!
#100happdays Day 28 Glenis and mom turtle. Check out the concern on Glen’s face! You always worry about a mom giving “birth”
Here is a little information on the snapping turtle from the Nature Ontario website.
In Ontario, females do not begin to breed until they are 17 to 19 years old. They dig a nest in late May or June in an open area, usually one with loose, sandy soil. The nest site is often the side of a road, an embankment or a shoreline, but the females will use almost any area they can excavate. A single clutch usually consists of between 40 and 50 eggs, which hatch in the fall. Hatchlings are two to three centimeters in length. The incubation temperature of the eggs determines the gender of the hatchlings.
Approximately 90 percent of their diet consists of dead animal and plant matter, and this species plays an important role in keeping lakes and wetlands clean. Adult snapping turtles have few natural enemies, but both hibernating and young adults are occasionally victims of opportunistic predation by otters and mink. Raccoons, foxes, skunks and opossums often eat snapping turtle eggs.
Unlike most other Ontario turtles, the snapping turtle has a very small plastron and cannot withdraw into its shell for protection when threatened. Therefore, on land this turtle’s only defense from predators is to snap repeatedly and scare them away. In water the snapping turtle rarely snaps at people or other potential threats and will simply swim away if threatened.
I found it hard to believe it is actually legal to hunt these animals even though their populations are in decline. We hope these little eggs survive.