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Just Outside My Door 02/28/13

March 6, 2013
By ELAINE G. COLE - COLUMNIST ( , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

Last Saturday our thermometer rose to 40 degrees by noon. It was a nice break after the frigid weather we had previously. We did, however, have a little sunshine on a couple of those cold days. Though we didn't get any new accumulation of snow on Friday, we had rain and rain-snow mix making slush on some roads. No doubt we'll get more snow next week, which will add to our current amount. Don't get discouraged, however, for time is marching on towards the new season as we greet the month of March on Saturday.

Although we don't yet see many signs of spring, there is one sign in our area and perhaps even in neighboring areas. I refer to the maple sugaring season. I recall my family moved to Sherman in March 1946. My dad was anxious to move in March because for the first time he would have a sugar bush and it would be the time of year to tap the maple trees. According to Darl Redlecki, the trees are tapped a month sooner than in yesteryear, and he tapped his on Thursday, Jan. 10 this year. They have already made 500 gallons of syrup.

Currently the Redlecki's are open every weekend serving breakfast complete with "Red's Best" maple syrup for pancakes. They are open Saturday's and Sunday's from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you have never enjoyed breakfast there, I highly recommend you take a trip sometime before Sunday, April 14 when the breakfasts cease until next year. It is located on the Sherman-Clymer road north from Sherman about 2.5 miles on the right hand side. Watch for the sign saying "Big Red's."

By the time the Redlecki's close for the season, hopefully we will be seeing many more signs of spring, and perhaps the snow will have ceased at least until next fall or winter. That time of year is very special to me, but actually I enjoy every season of the year in our area. Usually by that time I can get to the creek without floundering in the snow. Although we often have some muddy, cold, dreary days, normally we also get some warmer weather. We see green grass and often dandelions. Even before that, my snowdrops burst into bloom. Meanwhile I'll continue enjoying our winter backyard visitors.

Last week one day I watched two male cardinals chasing after one another. This afternoon Bill saw five male cardinals dining together on our backyard porch. I know there are female cardinals that also visit us and maybe even more of the males. They are all beautiful especially when they are perched on a snow-covered tree, the birdbath or sitting on the ermine carpet on the ground. Moreover, they often come early in the morning and at dusk as well as through the daytime.

Lately a fox squirrel joined our other visitors on the porch. We hadn't had any of them the past few years, so it's been fun having it along with the other squirrels.

We enjoy all of our outdoor friends and especially during the cold stormy days when there's an abundance of them all. The best part is we can stay toasty warm inside because there is nothing we have to go outside unless we want to, and if we get the urge to bundle up good and head out, we can still do that. How much better can it get?



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