Yesterday was cool and crisp but sunny, perfect weather for a Maple Harvest Festival!
Ben and I drove over the mountains and through the woods to Shaver's Creek Environmental Center (run by PSU, basically a nature center on steroids...or a multimillion $$ budget...) to their annual festival.
Apparently Shaver's Creek doesn't actually tap enough trees to make their own marketable syrup, but they served plenty of "local" Pennsylvania syrup on amazing pancakes for everyone. Sugar overload!!!
different grades of sap and syrup
It takes A LOT of sap to boil down into one gallon of syrup.
Shaver's Creek also has a raptor center where they keep about a dozen permanently injured birds. These little (scared) screech owls were being walked through the crowds. SO CUTE! I am not a huge bird fan but I love raptors and ESPECIALLY OWLS.
Here is an adorable great horned owl
(that is making Ellie's grumpy face! hahaha)
Bald eagles will always remind me of college, since they flock to the Mississippi River during the winter to fish. (and I made a viewing center poster of eagle facts during my Fish and Wildlife Service internship. Eagle PRO!) They are no longer on the endangered species list thanks to the efforts of the FWS!
Did I mention there was the obligatory kettle corn stand at the festival? That stuff is so addicting. After lounging around
shoving it into our faces enjoying a modest serving this afternoon Ben and I had to google how to make homemade kettle corn. It looks deceptively easy...future kitchen adventure for sure.