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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chainsaws, ice fishing, maple sugar

 The annual Ridgway (Pa.) Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous is finished for this year, but check its website here for next year's event. More than 200 carvers are spread through the square and a nearby large parking lot, showing off their collections, and making more as you watch. Bears were the carving model of choice, apparently, but there were plenty of eagles and owls, and even a teeter-totter. The artists are from as far away as Germany.

Saw dust and chips were everywhere, the whine of chainsaws too. The event is sponsored by a local art gallery, without help from the Chamber of Commerce or the town. There wasn't a motel room available for miles around, and restuarants were packed. Like Punxsutawny's Ground Hog Day, just down the road, it seems this is Ridgway's one event that makes it stand out.

There's a whole lot of money flowing into town that week. But on Saturday, it ended after the auction which raised money for charity.  So, we got back into the car.

Finding snow this winter has seen something of a problem, so we headed off again to the eastern Cleveland suburbs to see a few flakes. There wasn't much snow there either, but the old standby of Chardon, Ohio, known for its snow and sugar maple festival, had more than most. Even the ponds and lakes were still frozen, and we watched Dan and Kevin wander out to the East Branch to go ice fishing.

That wasn't going well, as far as the quantity of fish goes, but they seemed to be enjoying themselves with their homemade ice fishing shelter, complete with heater, skis, and a few beers.

Up the road a few miles, Ken and Lindy were tapping hard and soft sugar maple trees (I didn't know there was a difference) for the upcoming collection and annual maple syrup-making. About 130 trees are now dressed with old white milk jugs in Tom's back woods.

It's not warm enough there yet to collect.

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