My maple syruping season will finish today. On my last collecting run on Friday I took a few more photos to share with you.
Here is one of the grande dames of the maple trees I tap.
Here are some of the young turk maple trees. They are 50 to 75 years old. You can see our truck in the background. The white thing in the back is the collecting tank. Okay, so maybe I should have been a little closer to the truck to take that shot. I would go out right now and take another photo of the collecting tank but we have already taken it off the truck until next year.
Here is a live action shot of sap dripping into a bucket. I have taken the lid off to show you this dramatic moment. Usually the lid sits on top as in the last photo, protecting the sap from rain. At the end of the season there are usually a lot of lightning bugs and moths in the sap. Willy and I try to save them by taking them out of the sap. I took another exciting action shot of this process but decided to spare you. It was a bit gruesome. Sadly, we don’t get our rescue operation going in time for every bug.
Here is a shot of the last boil, as in five minutes ago. I have now burned every piece of scrap wood left over from last year’s construction projects. Time for Jim to get the nail belt on.
Here is what I did on Friday. I handled a backlog of almost syrup. I had three pots cranking, 10 more gallons of nearly syrup standing by, cooled down nearly done syrup in the boiling pan outside, 60 gallons of sap in the holding tank ready to go AND two long suffering dogs moping around. Bubble over their heads read, “Not ANOTHER nice Friday morning with her choosing to be inside!”
Note much needed fire extinguisher on right, plate of marshmallow topped brownie fuel provided by Will’s fifth grade teacher and delivered in time for breakfast at top left. I kid you not! My children thought they had died and gone to heaven when Mrs Gallagher delivered warm brownies for breakfast. I don’t think she meant for us to show such little restraint and eat them when she dropped them off, but what is a person to do when presented with this kind of sunrise temptation? Also note the troop of Flower Essences ever at the ready, because the thirty yard walk from the kitchen to the shipping room is just too long a journey to make when you need an Essence.
Let’s call this shot “CSI Maple Sugaring”. I had a boil over the other day. I was out in the yard stoking the fire and Willy came running out to report a pot frothing over, as in cascading down the sides of the stove and all over the stove top. Syrup was everywhere! Then it got onto the burners and became a mess of burnt sugar.
This is the stove top after significant clean up. I don’t think Sears quite imagined what I was going to be doing with this stove top when they sold me my maintenance agreement. Probably there will be a clause next time that forbids them to sell a maintenance plan to me or anyone that knows me. I probably deserve this.
Here is some of the canned up liquid gold. You can see this syrup is medium amber in color. There is nothing blonde about this season’s syrup. Oh that pair of rhino beanie babies on the shelf above the syrup? Those are Jim’s. He puts these rhinos on the counter to indicate to his four children that they need to step it up and do their dishes, as opposed to leaving them for their father to do when he gets home from work. He would probably like to leave the rhino around to remind me to pay attention so he doesn’t come home from school to a kitchen full of burning sugar smoke. As mentioned previously, there are many reasons we refer to him as St. Jim
The miniature spring iris joined the snowdrops and crocuses yesterday. On into Spring! Yahoooo!