Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Maple Syrup Time
Sap keeps its own schedule.
When the days warm in late winter, it runs. When temperatures dip below freezing, it doesn't. When the buds emerge on the maple trees, maple syrup season is over.
The sap is running in the sugar maple trees in western Ohio.
One morning, I went to nearby Maple Ridge Park to collect sap from about 30 trees. Officially, the overnight temperature was 29 degrees.
But the collection buckets showed the variation in temperatures. In some, the sap was slushy. In others, it was nearly frozen. But in some -- those with the most sap -- it was pure liquid.
Inside the sugar shack, though, the sap was in full boil. By day's end, it will be thick and sweet maple syrup.