I recently saw my neighbor, Holly French, and she reports that her husband, Bradley, has put out a few taps in his sugarbush. The deep snow forces him to travel around by snowshoe, a comical sight, according to Mrs. French, who says Brad is somewhat less than graceful on his snowshoes. Mr. French would never speak ill of any one, and incidentally, appears under a pseudonym in "The Dirty Life." I hope this will be a good maple syrup season for all the local producers.

The most recent snowstorm bent down hemlock branches over our woods trails, which Ginny walked right under and I knocked out of the way with a ski pole. You have to wait while the snow settles but it's so beautiful in the forest with flakes spinning slowly down from high overhead, glinting against the dark tree trunks.

The movie of the week is "127 Hours," the story of a rock climber trapped in a remote part of Utah, and his will to survive. The versatile James Franco stars in this compelling and powerfully human drama. It plays this Saturday night, the 5th, at 7:30 at the Willsboro school. This is another excellent presentation in a long string of quality movies by the Champlain Valley Film Society.

I've noticed large flocks of robins thronging roadways by Whallons Bay, and wild turkeys are starting to appear around our place. They seem primitive as dinosaurs as they creep slowly through brushy areas at the edge of the lawn.

My colleague Colin wrote about modern town trucks, which reminded me of an ice storm. It was a Friday, and rain started before dawn, freezing quickly. No traffic at all was on our usually busy road until about noon when the town truck came backing along, spreading salt from the rear. It must have taken hours and hours, backing all the way, to get out to our place, which illustrates the diligence of our town crews and why they got up to date trucks.

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