WEATHER: 30's by night, low 40's by day. Sap keep running, less during the night, a bit better during the day. CONVERGENCE OF CRISES, early evening:
1) Filter tank (where the finished syrup is) is full to the top, needing simultaneously to be tested for density and run into a drum (barrel).
2) Evaporator door sticks - it won't open or close.
3) None of the drums are clean and ready to be filled.
L. starts rinsing out a drum wiht hot water, then leaves it to grease the sticky door. Tells A. to take care of the drum. A. thinks this means she should fill it. Meanwhile the sap roars in the pans, the fire roars in the arch.
4) Syrup gushes out through an opening half way up the side of the drum. The bung never got screwed back in.
5) Flood of syrup on floor.
6) Filter press needs to be changed right away, pressure is too high. This chore requires the full attention of one person for at least ten minutes.
7) Outside, a big tank full of permeate water ( water squeezed out of the sap by the reverse osmosis machine) overflows and gushes over the bank, undermining the stone wall and depositing muddy silt at the entrance to the sugarhouse.
Meanwhile, the sap roars and boils into syrup, the fire needs stoking.
8) Turns out there was still water in the drum with no bung, so since the syrup still in there is diluted it must be drained out.
In walks a neighbor and her eight-year old son for a visit. They are sugarhouse rats and pitch right in cleaning up and stacking wood.