Morning was quite as the hot sun rose above the trees, it would be another warm day at 50 degrees. They were becoming more frequent, it was time to tap as the sap began to run through the trees. We would do it today. The pails, taps, drill, mallet, and drill bit looked lonely on the porch without hands and tree bodies.
Memories of trekking through the snow as a child with dad in early spring sprung to mind and I smiled. The little ones would learn today, this was a new lesson for them. There is always a new lesson in each task and I felt honored that it would be me teaching it this year.
We had ordered more kits off Amazon the week before in anticipation for this day. With the littles in tow, we carried the buckets, containers, spiles, tubing, drill, drill bit, mallet and enthusiasm towards the woods. We drilled holes into the birch large enough for the spiles to be tapped in, the tubing was attached to the spile and a bucket to catch the free flowing sap.
We ventured through the woods looking for the healthiest birch trees, inspecting them thoroughly for signs of illness. Each of the littles picked a tree that could be their own. I couldn’t help but think that the tree they picked seemed to represent the personality of the child. Mia-Aurora choosing the whitest birch in eyesight, it’s graceful build curved and it was almost to pretty for us to mar. Phin’s had a sturdy stock, with a quirky character as burrows peppered high along its body. It’s large body was peeling with weathered bark, its rough look caught Ezekiel’s fancy. We tapped them all
They watched the taps all day, waiting for the first drip of sap to slide down the tubing into it’s container. The idea of having birch syrup is exciting! The chance to pass down knowledge and heritage that was given to me is more valuable than the yield. The time, spending with them as we walking through the woods inspecting trees was well spent.