In provinces and states in the Northeast of North America, Spring means many things: an end to a long winter, wet basements, snowsuits traded in for rubber boots and splash pants, and the lengthening of the day.
The cold nights join forces with warm, sunny days to create a magical effect in forests all around: the running of the sap.
Wet forest floors freeze and melt, freeze and melt.
Buckets hang from spiles tapped into sugar maples, and the sap begins to drip-drip-drop with a sweet pinging sound.
The buckets are checked often for the watery liquid gold that will be boiled down into maple syrup.
There is work for people of all ages, and everyone feels needed and useful.
The littlest ones marvel at the gift of the tree, and pat her bark, whispering "Good job, tree!"
Small hands gain confidence with the support of a larger hand.
Off to another tree to collect more sap!
This is part one of a three-part series about the days we spent in the sugar bush! Join me tomorrow when I share tales of the boiling of the sap.