Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Maple Sugaring

Aric

My brother-in-law, Aric, let me follow him around last week as he collected sap from his beautiful forested land.  His enthusiasm for tapping trees and making syrup this year has truly buoyed me through these final weeks of late winter/early spring.  What wonderful motivation to get outside!  Inspired by Aric, and recent sugaring posts from Amanda and Nate, I asked if I could take a few photos.  And not only did Aric let me take photos (and humor my requests to bring jars of golden syrup outside into the light!)—he demonstrated the sugaring process from start to finish.

Sap Collecting

First he showed me how to make a spile from a staghorn sumac branch—fascinating and amazing to watch!  I had no idea such a simple, natural tool could be used for tree tapping.

Preparing the Spile

Shaping the Ends

As soon as Aric pounded his homemade spile into the tree, the sap started flowing.  I knew that was how it would work, of course, but I didn't realize it would happen so instantaneously!

Immediately Running

After visiting a few trees and collecting sap, we returned to the barrel stove: the heart of his sugaring operation.  I was only there for a few minutes, taking photos, but Aric has spent hours and hours tending this fire over the past few weeks, watching the sap turn . . . 

Keeping Watch

. . . into liquid gold.  Pure maple goodness.

Maple Goodness

Meanwhile, the chicks and goslings were enjoying their first day out in the sunshine.  Ellen learned how to hold a chick from Aric and her expert cousins Philena and Tait!

Chick Hand Off

Chick

Philena's Chick

And little Charles too! 

Charles!

Brotherly Hug

Post a Comment