Maple Syrup is one of the great New England traditions which still has a lot of life in it. The sap has been running for a few weeks- this season apparently is longer then usual. In order to get good runs, the nights need to dip below freezing, and the day needs to be above freezing. This causes the sap to run up and down the tree.
A hole is drilled into the tree, and a simple tap is inserted into the hole. In the picture above you can see the bucket which is catching the sap. There are some important concerns about bucket placement. Generally, it seems that the south side of the trees works better,because if the bucket is on the north side, the tap may not thaw out during the day. Also, you have to remember to take into consideration that the snow might melt after a while, so, if you can reach your bucket when standing on snow, you may not be able to reach it after the snow melts.
Next, the sap is gathered into a big vat. In this case, a horses are used to go from tap to tap, and someone empties the buckets into a big vat.
Here, the vat is the large metal container on the sled which the horses are pulling. This sugar house was heated with wood, which is common. It needs to be split up small to fit into the firebox, and so that is burns fast, and makes a hot fire. So, that shed with the wood is all for wood for making syrup. That has to be done beforehand. There is no time time to cut wood and keep an eye on the syrup.
|A beautiful team of horses.|
|A lot of the wood has already been burned up at this point in the season.|
|If goats are present, they certainly will be involved, but they may not be helpful.|