Sapping Over

When the ponds and puddles start chirping and these appear, sapping is over!
When the ponds and puddles start chirping and these appear, sapping is over!
Blue skies!
Blue skies!

The sun finally arrived on our last day of converting sap to syrup. I was thinking this week as I gathered the last buckets to wash and put away that I’d much prefer the heavy lifting and slippery walks through the woods than Planet Fitness. I want to be able to complain, dress funny and judge others. The trees don’t seem to mind.

One night while picking up more buckets for sap at LOWES a woman was wearing her workout pants. I couldn’t help notice the way the shadows fell on her backside. It was obvious she put in good hours at the gym, but the shadows made it look like she was sweating in all the wrong places. In the woods the shadows fall and no one sees them–besides stretch pants would catch on stray branches. When will the stretch clothes go out of fashion? I feel I’m getting to know people too personally. At LOWES it just seems inappropriate.

Making syrup gives me hours to complain, get restless, complain again about the weather and cold feet, feel bad about unfashionable farm clothes and complain because I’m hungry. I’ve learned to keep most of this as an internal commentary but my husband reads my mind, laughing to himself and putting on more wood.

When-will-this-sapping-be-over? Even Nala's had enough.
When-will-this-sapping-be-over? Even Nala’s had enough.

Our neighbor came over to see if we knew anything about a dog mauling her cat. It’s paw was gone and leg broken. They had to put it down. Politely she asked about our Nala. Thank God, Nala has a new shock collar as evidence that she was with us during the brutal attack–looking as restless as I felt. We were finished with her chasing fitness people jogging by our house with their babies and dogs. The neighbor decided her cat was killed by a fisher–the ablest evil predator on land according to someone we heard somewhere.

Did I mention that we got TEN GALLONS of syrup this year? That’s nothing for some people, but for us it’s pretty great. Once the peepers chirp and the worst of the heavy lifting is over I begin to forget how much I don’t love sapping. I think back and say I really enjoyed the first frigid days of standing in ankle deep mud for hours drinking coffee until I felt like vomiting.

My husband does seem to really enjoy the whole thing. He likes tending the fire, estimating evaporation rate, making little improvements and providing syrup for his family. It’s kind of inspiring to see him take it so seriously. He never even complains. It’s weird.

A beautiful ocean of syrup.
A beautiful ocean of syrup.
Gallons and gallons!
Gallons and gallons!
Nala licking syrup  from the tree.
Nala licking syrup from the tree.
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11 thoughts on “Sapping Over

    1. We’ve all been on the look out for fishers this week. My daughter locks up our kitty now (I think kitty’s not too happy about it).

      A lot of people who do syrup big time have modern equipment, of course, but for the hobbyist it’s WORK πŸ™‚ My husband likes that.

      He doesn’t like, say, milking goats early in the morning, but that I don’t mind πŸ™‚

  1. I used to leave on a street that intersected a street called Fisher Ave. I wondered why a street so far from the bay would be called Fisher and it turns out it was named that after a creature called a Fisher Cat. I looked them up on google and was stunned that such a creature could be alive in contemporary Boston, but almost as soon as we started to look for them we’d see them.

    Are the fishers you’re talking about the same as our New England Fisher Cats?

    1. Yes they are! I didn’t know about them till I moved to the country. A trusted friend once insisted he saw a cougar up here and I believe him. I saw one coming home from Maine years ago. No one believed me.

    1. I used to teach and I think what saved me from insanity was recess outdoors! I was just like the kids checking the clock to bolt into the open air. πŸ™‚ I loved teaching but hated being cooped up inside.

      So you have bees, I see. How are yours doing? At one time we had three hives but one set died last winter and another swarmed and left for greener pastures. We thought the last hive was dead, but they survived!

      1. I wanted to be a teacher too but not inside so now I work teaching inner city teens how to grow vegetables. I NEED to be outside.
        Yes, we had bees. They never survived over the winter. I’m working on a post about it right now. We thought a hive was dead and then thought they survived one year too. It ended up being robber bees that never stayed in the hive. Best of luck to you on yours though! Fingers crossed they made it.

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