March 6

WEATHER: Low last night 17, high today 40, bluebird. The sort of early March day when those locals who haven't yet thought about sugaring feel the warmth of the sun on one side of the face and the nip of a cool breeze on the other and mutter to themselves, "I'll bet the sap is running today."  QUOTE OF THE DAY: "The sap is so clear it shines."   BOILING STATUS: Boiled down that shiny sap into Ultra Fancy syrup, a whole grade lighter than Fancy. Not just the color changes, but the nature of the bubbles in the pan too. It's disconcerting how they don't pucker and pop like ordinary Fancy bubbles, until you realize, that's right, ultra is always tricky to read.   MACRO: Sugarhouse built into the side of a hill.   MICRO: Scrape of metal on metal: the iron rake pulling cold ashes over the heavy grates.             MUSIC TO BOIL BY: Hank Williams honky-tonk