Kelvin & I have been enjoying our time in the woods tapping trees this week. The ground is bare, which makes tree tapping ever so much easier. Usually, half the battle is trudging through two feet of snow with the drill, hammer, roll of tubing and a stack of buckets. This year, we listened to the sound of leaves crackling underfoot, and our dog Trixie sniff, sniffing while circling a hollow tree, which we discovered was a den tree for two big, sleepy-eyed raccoon.
The best sound of the day though, was the sound of the sap drip, dripping into the pail. With the midday sunshine on the tree tops, the sap flowed from the roots, up the trunk, and into the branches, while a small portion dripped from our spout. Every year, I make it tradition to sample the fresh sap, so I kneel beside the tree, and let a few drops fall on my tongue, savoring the faint sweetness and pugnent maple taste that comes from the maple wood. Ahhh, spring is coming!
We have about 500 taps in so far. We have not collected sap yet, but our buckets are about half full, so we'll collect some today and boil for awhile tonight. The season is beginning!