Outside, the birds are singing, and lettuce is up in one container despite eight inches of new snow last week. Inside, I’ve been plugging away at the New Age looping e-book, with breaks for one of my area’s rites of spring.
Our neighbors tap trees and cook the sap down into syrup. Bill and I show up to help collect the sap, pouring it from collecting bags into buckets then transferring buckets to barrels on a trailer that are then pumped into holding tanks until Mike fires up the cooker.
During sapping, the woods can be snowy or slushy, and slippery with ice and mud. But it’s fun to spend time with our neighbors, and satisfying to work at a task that produces measurable results. Much of the work I do takes weeks or months to complete. Sapping, on the other hand, takes a couple of hours. In the fresh air.
Yesterday, before sapping I finished bookmarking and hyperlink indexing the 66 illustrations in the new e-book. After that, it felt really good to get out in the woods.
It was the last sap pick-up for the year, so we helped the crew get started pulling taps, taking bags off the frames and getting stuff ready to put away until next spring. Meanwhile, Mike was back at the sap shack cooking syrup, which smelled heavenly.
I’m almost to the point with the new e-book where I can see the sweet, sweet end of the task. The next e-book I do will go faster, now that I sort of know what I’m doing. I’ll keep you posted on when this one is finished, and on what comes next. In the meantime, I hope you’re enjoying your own rites of spring.