It's that time of year again. Spring is shy. Such a tease. With plenty of snow and ice still on the ground and temperatures that make your fingertips ache, it is easy to dismiss the fact that it is indeed spring. I try not to think about it too much, otherwise spring becomes a roller coaster of alternating hope and disappointment for me every year. But really, there is no denying it; the signs are all around us and becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. Those birds are singing with fervor. Patches of earth peek up from between mounds of snow here and there. There's an occasional drip drip of ice melting from the roof. The squirrels are noticeably friskier. And there's this:
We had a slow start to sugaring season this year. The local maple syruping festivals came and went without any sap to show. Things have been a bit start and stop. But we've already collected a fair amount of sap from a couple good days and conditions are looking favorable for the next week.
Last year was our first year making syrup. And it was such a good syruping year that our syrup lasted through half a year of alternating pancake and waffle Saturday morning breakfasts. We have two box elder trees tapped in our yard. A third that is supposedly a box elder never produced much last year. We're giving it one more try. The box elder is a species of maple and its syrup is similar but distinct from traditional maple syrup. Undeniably yummy. From what I understand, the box elder is not typically a 'desirable' tree in landscaping. But the sweet sap they offer us so generously makes them among the most treasured trees in our yard.
Here's to appreciating the undeniable signs of spring even as winter persists with its blizzards and frigidness. And hoping for another bountiful (but maybe a tad shorter than last year!) syruping season.