Hello, friends. Spring is ever-so-lethargically making its way to Kingston, and we. are. ready. I will spare you the whining and cussing that occurred on Sunday morning when we awoke to 15 cm of fresh, wet snow. Instead, I’m going to focus on the fact that we finally tapped our sugar maple tree.
The tree is at the back corner of our garden and our marauding, non-hibernating squirrels like to knock the bucket off its hook. I suspect they also drink the sweet water (old-timey synonym for maple sap). However, I shouldn’t blame the squirrels alone: just this afternoon, I saw a small human sidle up to the bucket and dip his finger inside for a taste of sweet water. And then I dipped a finger, too.
I’m told that this will be a bad year for maple syrup because it was such a long winter. It’s true that there’s a laughably small amount of maple sap in the bucket so far. When you consider that you need roughly 40 litres of sap to make one litre of maple syrup. we’ll probably only end up with half a cup or so. Maybe less, depending on those pesky
But that’s hardly the point. We first tapped our maple tree last year and it was immediately clear that this would become a beloved ritual. The conversion of sap to syrup feels like nothing short of magic. We all feel such pride and wonder and curiosity in the process. And it’s one more way of encouraging the arrival of spring.
What are your spring-welcoming rituals and superstitions?