A good run of sap has kept syrup makers busy and nice weather this weekend inspired quite a few folks to brave the mud for visits to their favorite sugar houses. From what I hear, the joint was jumpin’ on Friday and Saturday evenings at Bobo’s. By Sunday afternoon, when I got there to help finish off yet another boil, the place was pretty well deserted.
Even without an enthusiastic crowd looking on, the fire roared and sap turned to syrup. It wasn’t the sunniest of late winter days but the temperature was mild enough to cook outside, taking advantage of the well-apportioned outdoor grilling area.
It’s not really a dining area. It’s more like a spot to stand outside the door for a couple of minutes between stokes of the arch or draws of finished syrup.
Another change in the weather will slow things down again for a couple of days and syrup makers will have a chance to catch their breath and maybe a quick forty winks (after cleaning up the sticky mess left behind by four or five days of boiling). It looks like there will be at least one more run of sap. How long it will last is anyone’s guess and whether or not it will be the last run of the season remains to be seen.
Predicting anything about sugaring season is a tricky proposition but one thing is for sure; as long as the sap runs and doesn’t turn to dirty goo over the fire, crowd or no crowd watching, columns of steam and smoke will continue to rise in the night air as Vermont’s sugar makers boil everything they get, harvesting the taste of trees.
And somewhere out there, bouncing along the back roads, another big goof will be heading home, smelling of sweet steam and wood smoke, clutching a warm jar of syrup.