Sugar on Snow

TROY – This winter seems long and endless, but signs of spring are appearing almost daily.

I have noticed male gold finches at our bird feeder that are beginning to change into their mating plumage; several mergansers on creeks, where there was open water; and gulls again visiting our landfill on a stopover as they head north to their nesting areas. After church, I heard reports of robins being seen.

To celebrate the coming of spring, the Friends of Mt. Pisgah State Park will hold its fourth annual Sugar on Snow event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Sugar on Snow is a hands-on event. After heated beyond the syrup stage, the sugar maple sap is poured onto fresh clean snow (in a bowl) and instantly becomes a chewy taffy. Those who attend can help tap trees and haul and boil the sap.

The group hopes that the sap will be running and snow will be covering the ground.

Other events include the churning of home-made ice cream, with “lots of kid power” needed to help with the cranking. This year, there may be maple syrup to pour over the ice cream.

Max Weed will offer horse-drawn wagon rides.

Some sleds will be provided – or attendees can bring their own – for sledding down the hill.

“Dog sled” races will be held, except that the sleds will be pulled by humans.

Snowshoes will be on hand for children who want to try the ancient way of traveling on top of the snow and the Moyer sisters will have hot dogs and S’mores to roast over the hot coals of a wood fire.

Attendees also can borrow GPS units and try their hand at geo-caching.

In the warmth of the nature center, Nelson Waffle will be on hand to entertain visitors with his banjo and guitar music; Bev Smith and Johanna Dickerson will help children make rag dolls; and Ron Young will be on hand to identify wild plants found in the park.

Of course, most of the events depend on having snowcover.

For more details, call the park office at 570-297-2734.