Sunday afternoon I walked up the hill to collect sap. I knew it would be the last gather; the evenings are too warm, now, and the trees are tired, anyway. I guess I’m a little tired, too; we’ve carried a lot of sap out of the woods, and spent a lot of days with the windows thrown wide to shed the heat of the wood stove as we boiled. The boys – whose job it is to keep the woodbox full – have soured on the task. Indeed, it has been a long sugaring season, almost ideal in every way – perfect weather, easy, snowless access to the woods, an extended cold snap to delay the onset of buds. I heard from someone who knows these sort of things that many sugar makers have run short on firewood. Records will be broken, I am sure of that.
So. Sugaring done. One more tick of the seasonal clock behind us. Now: Finish firewood, water the seedlings, plant the new trees and prune the old ones, run fence, watch the cow grow fat with calf. Soon: Tend the garden, bale the hay, swat and curse the black flies, eat the salad, drink the milk. And if no one’s looking, maybe just a drop or two of syrup to sweeten the glass.
PS: Some of you might be interested in this commentary I wrote.