So, the 2022 maple syrup season has officially ended at Little Farm. Looking long-term, we see no period of well below-freezing nights and above freezing days. Plus we haven't had any sap flow in almost two weeks.
For the health of our trees, that means taking down all the jugs and pulling out all of the taps. Yesterday, Nancy and I did just that. It doesn't take very long - a couple of hours, max, and it is truly light work.
In one way it's depressing, because Winter, which is perhaps my favorite season, is truly now behind us. But in another way, it's really quite nice. This may sound silly, but it is a pleasant and almost ceremonial way to say goodbye - to Winter, and to the maple syrup ritual that has become an integral part of our lives over the last decade-plus.
We've talked before about how something like maple sugaring ties you to the land, to Nature, and to the seasonal cycles. The older I get, the more I seem to appreciate this and the larger it looms for me. I suppose this is because of the heightened sense of swiftly-passing time. I think it was British playwright Noel Coward who once observed that for him, the only inconvenience of advancing age was, "having to have breakfast every six minutes". I have felt his pain as the weeks and months seem to rip swiftly by. But when it comes to annual cycles, like the maple sugaring cycle, the rapid passage of time keeps the whole thing fresh, linking one year to the next in a tight and frankly satisfying chain.