There is concern in the maple syrup community over an infestation of tent caterpillars and the impact the tiny bugs may have on this year’s maple syrup production rates. The caterpillars eat the leaves at the top of maple trees. The leaves help produce the sugar in the trees so fewer leaves mean less sugar meaning more sap has to run to make maple syrup. Ray Bonenberg chair of the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association says the epidemic is extensive. Tent caterpillars are naturally found in the environment, but infestations run in cycles. The caterpillars don’t kill the trees but some years there are more of them than others. Many have decided to tap some of their trees only once this season instead of the usual two or three to allow the trees to recover from the damage. Some peg the loss of production at 20 to 30%. But the good news is that while production may be down the taste will remain the same.
It’s hard to believe that our clocks will spring ahead this coming weekend .because this means longer days and the fact spring will be arriving soon. And it means local fire officials send the message about installing new batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Mississippi Mills Fire Chief Pascal Meunier says changing the batteries when you change the clocks on March 11th means the alarms will be fully charged should you need them. And that could mean saving a life.
AND IN SPORTS …
In the CCHL-2 … the Renfrew Timberwolves are back in action tonight as they host the Carleton Place Junior Canadians in Game 2 of the Richardson Division quarter-finals. Renfrew won the opener on the weekend and lead the best-of-seven series 1-0. Puck drop tonight at Mat-te-way is 8 o’clock.
Some of the province’s top boys’ high school basketball players are in the area this week as the Upper Ottawa Valley hosts the AA (double-A) OFSAA championships. Games began yesterday … and continue throughout the day today at three locations Fellowes High School … Valour … and Opeongo. We’ll bring you the results tomorrow and let you know how the local teams are faring … as they compete for an all-Ontario title. For more details … and to watch the games live … you can visit http://www.ofsaa.on.ca/boys-aa-basketball
Arnprior teacher and coach Phil Moore has been awarded the Leadership in School Sport Award. Moore has coached high school sports at ADHS for 26 years and has been athletic director for 18 of those and has been on the Upper Ottawa Valley and Eastern Ontario athletic association executives for 20 years and has convened 20 EOSSAA championships. Moore has helped to grow the game of basketball in the Valley, through clinics and camps, tournaments, and leagues that he has been instrumental in starting and nurturing. On top of that, he has coached boys’ basketball for 25 years and girls’ hoops for six years and shows no signs of slowing down. The award is presented to: “a teacher-coach who has made a significant contribution to the educational athletic program. The recipient of this award exemplifies the values of fair play and good sportsmanship while promoting enjoyment, personal growth and educational achievement through school sport.”