“Are we going to sap the trees, dad?” was Stephen’s question for Dave as they walked to the back of the yard with a drill, a tap, and a bucket. We had heard from our veteran maple-syrup-making friends that it was time to tap. It was early, but the warm days and cold nights of early February were telling them that the sap was flowing. And they were right. Dave drilled our maple tree, put the tap in the hole, hung a bucket from the hook on the tap, and watched the sap begin to flow.
Stephen and Aurora get so excited when we start to collect sap. Monitoring the sap buckets is a job they happily take on. When Dave returns from work, they inform him that the buckets are a quarter full or half full, depending on how the sap is running. They can taste the future pancakes and waffles that will soak up the sweet, golden syrup.
I also feel excited and happy when the sap starts to flow. As my friends talk about how many trees they have tapped, how many gallons of sap they have collected, and how many quarts of syrup they have made, I smile at our connection to each other and our connection with the trees and the cycle nature.
If you would like to learn more about this live-off-the-land hobby, there are many resources available. Here a just a few: