It’s April 3 and the thick snow is falling on us like a heavy, wet blanket. Is this a sugar snow? Mr. Masters isn’t here yet, and the first bucket feels empty. Will there be any sap today?
My oldest, she runs on to another tapped tree and excitedly reports that the bucket there is really, really heavy. Heavy with sap!
Mr. Masters and a few more friends arrive, ready to help.
He says the sap is running and it’s time to collect it!
The crew of kids, they all hear him say “sugar” and quickly grab buckets. They follow him closely into the woods.
Well, most follow him closely.
At each tapped tree, Mr. Masters removes the bucket lid, and we peer inside to marvel at all the sap. The 5-gallon bucket at this big tree filled up in just 24 hours!
Next Mr. Masters carefully exchanges the filled bucket with an empty one and moves on to the next tapped tree.
The crew takes turns pouring sap into the buckets.
Everyone tastes a bit of the sweet sap. My youngest sips it right out of the tree. And this cute little guy, he gets a taste from his daddy’s finger.
With full buckets in tow, we hike back through the snowy woods to the parking lot, where Mr. Masters pours all of the sap into a huge tank in the back of his suburban.
Then we go back into the woods and do it all over again. And again. And again. Altogether, we collect 50 gallons of sap in a little more than an hour.
Then Mr. Masters goes on to other wooded spots where he has tapped trees. In all he collects 100 gallons today. Miraculous!