THE ARRIVAL OF SPRING !!!
We woke up this morning to a day milder than any we've had for a long time. A soft breeze churning the air, the sound of water dropping from the roof where the snow was melting, a scent of s0mething new and something old, last year's nature decay under the ice on the ground and way under, the tiny green world getting ready to explode ... The giant crows perched on the highest bare trees and the robins calling each other with their never-ending song ... Yes, definitely, today was the day : the sap in the maple trees has started to run ! Yes! It is maple syrup making season! Ulysse ran right after breakfast and got the tools needed to tap a few trees around our house. Each year, since he was 2 or 3 years old, he's been helping his dad with the procedures. I remember spotting him on a certain sunny winter day, when he was a young boy, hugging a tree with his arms and drinking the sap directly from the spout. Maple syrup season is an important tradition at home since it is the official sign of hope after a tough winter, hope that there will be a spring after all. Southern Quebec is a big producer of maple syrup mostly due to the fact that a big percentage of its forests is made of maple trees, as is our US neighboring state, Vermont. But nature is changing everywhere and so are our seasons ... The past years have been tough for producers, due to either very short springs, too much snow accumulated late in the season and very early warm weather spell. You see, for the sap to flow through a tree properly, you need mild sunny days but freezing nights. Ah! the pleasure of drinking the sweet water from the pail ! You can't get much nearer to nature than drinking the water that flows through a tree, the same water that will flow through its branches and force the buds to unfold into leaves. The same water that will make the tree stay green and strong through heat and wind and cold again ... In the old days, people would drink the sap to cleanse their system and as a spring tonic to give you energy. It will be a few days before we have accumulated enough water to boil it on the stove for hours, until it becomes thick and sweet and so yummy. We usually have enough water to make a good dozen big jars of syrup that we keep preciously in the pantry and take out later during the year to drown homemade pancakes and waffles on Sunday mornings. Yes, indeed, today was a good day for the maple trees and for us ! Our cats are having a serious case of cabin fever ! They are bored, they do not know what to do when they are not sleeping. They want to go out! And once outside, oh! it is not as comfy as they thought so they want in again !!! And the chicken ! They came out too for the first time this year, went down their little stairs one after the other through the tiny door we had left open. Even the master, Señor Jello the rooster, opted for a visit in the yard! Even Bibi found a good spot ... Spring break is over, vacations too! Time to go back to work in the studio, my paintings are calling me! I should have something new to show you tomorrow!
Youppi!Spring is here! Spring is here!