Tapping a Maple Tree We are three days into tapping, with just over a thousand installed so far with about two hundred yet to go. It was cloudy today and cool. The sap didn’t run like it did yesterday, but it’s coming and you can tell. The local weather is calling for sunny with temperatures in the high 40′s tomorrow. The trees are already running and we’ve already collected almost five hundred gallons though that’s far from perfect. The sugar house is ready, having completed the steam duct today and if everything goes off the way it should, we’ll be boiling sap by Saturday.

Late in the afternoon on the first day of tapping we ran out of battery on the Makita drill. Dale went back to recharge it and I took a few minutes to sit back on the boulders under a Winter blue sky and listen to the outdoors. A small plane flew overhead- a rare occurrence in my area- and I watched it fly by until it disappeared. In the distance, behind it all, you could here the steady Plonk, Plonk, Plonk, of sap dropping into the empty buckets, like music.

It takes roughly 40-50 gallons of sap to make a single gallon of maple syrup. It’s not the kind of stuff that comes out of a bottle of Mrs. Buttersworth or Log Cabin; it is sweet in a way you can’t describe.

We drank sap right from the buckets in big gulps and stood there thinking about what was to come.

Tonight after we were all done collecting buckets (over three hundred by my count) and had closed up the barn, I walked around the grounds with my oldest son. He looked at the things we had done and added his comments about what we still had to do. Most of the time we didn’t talk about anything at all, we just walked around and looked at things in the half dark. The moon was full and that added it’s own weight to the moment, although neither of us mentioned it.

It was the kind of day when you simply have to acknowledge it, and as my youngest said as he walked around the room while I typed this, it was, “Good, good, good. Good, good, good.”

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