Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sugar Tapping Day!

Finally! Temps above freezing during the day and below freezing at night!

Here are a few posts I've done about maple tree tapping in the past. There are many community resources on it. Will you try it this year? :-)
Sugar Camp Days at Bendix Woods
Maple Sugaring--this gives more of the basics
Maple Sugaring from InMiddlebury Magazine

This is perfect weather to tap your maple trees! Yesterday was sunny and beautiful. Our son was okay outside without his coat on even. To prep, we washed out our buckets, spiles, and plastic tubing lines, gathered our tools, and refreshed our memory on what angle, drill bit size, etc. we needed. It has been a year since we tapped our trees.  After drilling the hole, we tapped the spile into place with a mallet. I love the tongue sticking off to the side while my son was working hard! Such concentration. He's almost five and very much wants to be involved in cooking, cleaning (maybe not enough!), and working right along us. He's gaining more independence.

While we were working on the buckets, he started playing in the snow and counting. Reminds me of a dice or dominoes. Nature is a perfect place to practice counting! Love that it was completely spontaneous and self-directed.

Then he started making snowballs and patterns in the snow with his tracks. It almost reminds me of a bee dancing in its communication pattern. 

He looked up high in the sky. It was a lot different than what it looked like in the spring, summer, and fall. I look forward to seeing it wake up! He went to a program earlier in the week about seeds. He noted earlier this week there weren't any maple samaras or helicopters out, but when we looked in the tree, we found a few! I actually found a few in the buckets when I was washing them out, too. :-) 

We explored the bark while we were tapping in the spiles, connecting the tubing, and adding our buckets with lids underneath.

The toddler fell forward in the snow and left a great handprint. It was pretty crunchy in this area. He was a little unsure of the snow. 

We even found a bird's nest that fell from one of the maple trees.

Even little guys get interested in natural things like this! Of course drawing in the snow with a stick is fun, too. While we were outside to tap the maple trees, I'm glad we had a little nature exploration as well!