Sugaring time

Posted on April 6, 2009


Babs Young sent this image as a “Babs Bonus” – it didn’t make it into her Sunday Photo series but she thought I might like to have it . . .

Maple syrup time

I think it’s something special.  If you click on the photo you can open a nice big version. Look at the details. The lichen on the old trees and the sandy dirt road in contrast to the surgical tubing and food-grade collection pails of a commercial maple syrup operation. Then look at the composition. The swirling lines of shadows and tubing mingle. The trees hold up the sky. 

Lines like these are rigged up all over the county right now, and the sap is running.  Tubing laces through the trees for miles.  Here and there someone is tapping a few trees in the yard.  On the way back from Central Lake last week I had to stop and take a picture where one family has tapped one big maple at the foot of the driveway. 

Maple sap collection

Anyone with patience and luck can make a little bit of maple syrup. We’ve been doing it in the north country for hundreds of years. What a gift this sweetness is, especially at the tail end of winter.

Dave Parsons knows more about maple syrup than most people. I believe you’d enjoy reading his essays on the history and the contemporary processes of syrup-making at the Parsons Centennial Farm, home of Harwood Gold. Think of that. Maple syrup named, like fine wine, for the place where it’s born.