Sunday, March 12, 2006

Summer approaching?

You might think it a bit premature to be throwing around such rash ideas, especially in a place so famed for its winters. But I think that Canadians hate winter much more than most people, and with good reason. I've been incredibly lucky to be here during the warmest winter on record, but even I am getting a little sick of cold weather. It's been very nice, therefore (the preamble of this blog is finally over!) to see the sun in the past two days.
The temperature has not just been positive, but up to +10 - in the shade! The last time I felt my body warmed by the sun was late October, if I remember rightly. To celebrate such weather, I went to get my hair cut yesterday, and walked there and back in nothing but a t-shirt and fleece. And trousers, shoes and underwear, of course.
Today was a spring-like day, as I went to the Warkworth maple syrup festival, about 2 hours from Toronto, the wrong side of Oshawa. They hold this slightly monocentric festival every year during the maple syrup season. Here are a few fascinating factoids I learned today; but one of them is incorrect. Can you work out which one...?
  • The season for maple syrup lasts for 15 days per year, at most.
  • They poke little holes in the tree bark and tap into the sap streams, whether the sap is going up (towards the buds) in the day or down to the roots at night.
  • The sap that comes out of the trees is 97% water. You can drink this stuff and it will clean your insides out (in a good way!).
  • They have several kilometres of piping to transport the sap into the factory. These days, the whole extraction is vacuum-powered.
  • Canadian law dictates that syrup must have at least 66% sugar content. Furthermore, there are several different grades of syrup according to how concentrated they are.
  • The people who make maple syrup are known as tree-huggers, due to the process of surrounding many trees with piping and one or two taps.
  • There's not a great deal to do at a maple syrup festival.
Another reason I see summer approaching is that my first, last and only end-of-term exam takes place in a month's time! That's right, my summer holiday starts on the 11th April, and will run until about the 11th October. Sweet.


Son of Man said...

"my summer holiday starts on the 11th April, and will run until about the 11th October. Sweet."

You Suck!

Jess said...

Hha...I'm done on the last day of class as I have no exams in the exam period! I do have a take home exam essay due the 13th but I can do that early and be done! yay! I'll be sad to see you go Chris!!

JLF said...

"And trousers, shoes and underwear, of course."

On behalf of the rest of the city, I thank you.

You're right though, summer is definitely coming. Just today the first Blue Jays game was on the radio... now THAT's crazy stuff! :)