Good to see you again. It’s been a while. Will you be staying a little longer this year?
We invited sugar back yesterday. We heard her approach as we moved to the next maple along the treeline that separates the middle meadow from the orchard.
“Was that a drop I heard?” asked Marion.
We had just tapped “Sunny Boy,” one of our best producing trees. He immediately responded to the invitation. We stood and listened for more.
It came again, then again – “plink, plink” – the familiar rhythm of sap falling from spile to bucket. Such a sweet, gentle noise. It stirs memories that go back to my earliest days. More defining than the turning leaves of autumn or the first snows of winter, the first run of sap from the maples marks the change of seasons, signaling the promise of spring.
Today, I’ll brush the snow from the evaporator, clean the pan and ready the firebox. I’ll be spending much of my time with sugar for the next month.