Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Today is the day!  Today, I gathered up my tapping supplies and headed out to the woods to tap maple trees for this year's sap run.

I had decided to keep it small, only 10 taps.  That is how many milk jugs I had washed and saved for collecting sap in.  With only four of us at home, and not eating pancakes, french toast, or waffles but maybe once a week, I didn't figure we'd need more than a gallon or two of syrup to get us through until next year.

Then I got to the woods, and sap fever hit!  I discovered that several trees that were too small to tap in 2011 (the last time I made syrup) had grown quite a bit in two years.  I used up 5 of my 10 jugs on 'brand new' trees before I was even half way back into the woods.  At the back of the woods is a pretty good sugar bush (at least, that's what I'm going to refer to it as), with at least ten trees of tapping size; a couple of which are large enough to hold 2-3 taps each.

I ended up only putting two jugs in the rear sugar bush, using up the rest of them in what I shall now refer to as the west sugar bush, near the front half (NW corner) of the woods.

I took the camera along, to document, for your viewing pleasure, the tapping of my trees.

My first candidate.

Sap is definitely running;
it was coming out of the spile
 faster than I could get the spile tapped into the tree.

Collection jug hung,
tied to the spile with a piece of baling twine.
(I found they tend to blow off on windy days
if I don't tie them on.)

Another tree tapped.

Part of the west sugar bush.
How many tapped trees can you find?
(There are four in this picture, look for the white jugs.)

The first jug, as seen less than an hour after hanging it.
All ready nearly an inch of sap collected.

I'm not sure ten taps is going to be enough.  Sap fever is addling my brain, making me forget what a long process boiling off is.  At the moment, all I can think is "Wow, the sap is running great, and today is the first day warm enough to tap!  I wonder how fast it will run later this week, when the temperatures get over forty.  Maybe I should tap ten more trees.  I bet I could sell the extra syrup (under the table of course, supposed to have an approved set up here for sales) to x, y, and z who asked if I had any for sale in 2011. . . "

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