The 2014 maple sugaring season started with a drip and ended with a whimper — oh, what a season! We didn’t even tap our trees until March 8th, a full 3, if not 4, weeks later than when I usually get my first flow of sap. And, even then, it turned out to be too early as the sap didn’t really start for another 1-2 weeks. With the sap season being too late, once the weather warmed, it warmed too quickly and the sap flow was cut off rather abruptly. We never really had our desirable mid 40’s sunny days with cool 20 degree nights. Nonetheless, we still had over 300 gallons of sap to boil off on our home-made evaporator.
I really enjoy this particular time of year. I love watching winter turn to spring in its daily march to summer. We start in the cold snow drifts and usually end crunching in last year’s fallen leaves as the first insects of spring wake up. It’s an excuse to sit out in the sun , enjoy a fire and take walks through the woods. This year I got the lawn tractor stuck in the mud a few too many times and we spent a disproportionate amount of time discussing how to soup up our evaporator system or describing our pie-in-the-sky sugar shack. These are some of my favorite days. (I don’t want to hear Bill reminding me of getting my truck stuck in the 3 foot snow drift, though. Yes, 4×4 and chains!)