Posts Tagged With: maple trees

Tapping Out

(A new tab at the top of this page (or this link) will take you to a collection of photos and links following the production of maple syrup this spring from the sugar bush of some friends. Their new enterprise is called Bobo’s Mountain Sugar, and the taps are in on Bobo’s Mountain — all 2500 of them.)

In mixed martial arts, tapping out is an act of submission, the end of a fight, and often the result of a violent twisting of arms. In maple syrup production, tapping out is a declaration of victory, the end of a job that no one’s arm had to be twisted to do.

big old tree

The snow was deep when I started helping on the hill above the sugar house, but I waded and floundered and stomped my way along the lines, tapping trees for a few hours each afternoon, doing what I could. The steepness of the hill, combined with thickets of beech and short balsams, had me convinced I made the right call in leaving my snowshoes at home, even as more flakes fell every day. After struggling in the wake of an additional 14+” from one storm, I finally gave in and strapped them on the next day.

If, as they say, snowshoes make the impossible difficult, it was a very hard afternoon. Without my snowshoes I had sunk to my knees; with them I still sank to my knees and had to high-step to clear the holes I’d made, with the decks weighted down with snow. Lifting a leg, expecting 25 pounds of resistance but getting none because the snow slid off, resulted in a few sharp blows to my chin and twice I kneed myself in the ear when my right foot sank deeper as I lifted my left. Continue reading

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Categories: +Uncategorized, Maple Syrup, Rural Life, Vermont, Winter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Vermont Foliage: Taking My Own Advice, Part I

Some people could use a good knock-knock-knock on the forehead to get them to stop for a few minutes, take a good look around, and see what happens when nothing happens. They get so wrapped up in themselves and the things they consider important that they forget where they are and why they are there, missing the good stuff — those small, quiet moments of near-perfection and beauty that pass quickly, often un-noticed.

I nearly knocked myself silly, this past week, before finally picking up a camera and stepping out to enjoy my favorite time of year. Now, to tie myself to a chair and force myself to post some of the pictures I took …

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Categories: nature, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

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