Tapping into Spring

I may be speaking too soon but, with the official start to spring just a few weeks away and the recent spell of mild weather, including plus four temperatures today, I think that Spring may be on it’s way. Oh, we’re expecting another 10cm of snow tonight but 10cm is nothing when it falls onto the bare yellow grass that surrounds our house at the moment. And that may be where we went wrong on our first foray today – assuming that as there was no snow around our house the going would be easy when we went down the woods to tap into some maple trees.

Our other error was assuming that we would find some maple once we got down there, which we may well have done if we were wearing snowshoes but when you sink down to your knees with each step the going is tortuously slow and physically draining.

So once we had, well, not exactly admitted defeat but maybe admitted temporary setback, we turned around, headed back home and got in the car to tackle the woods from the other side. This also allowed us to stock up on cups of milk and a flask of hot, sweet tea.
Once up on the top road, appropriately named Maple Brook Road, we found three good sized trees that my field guide indicated may be maples. I checked that they had the fissured grey bark on the trunks, reddish-brown newgrowth and that the buds formed opposite each other. Then I selected a spot about five foot above a nice thick root, drilled a hole with a #14 woodbit and tasted the sap – sweet, which is good enough for me.
I’ll let the photos explain the rest of the story.

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