Sunday, March 8, 2009

THE MAPLE TREES ARE CELEBRATING ...

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!

11 comments:

Bairbre Aine said...

What a delightful post.
I miss the seasonal snow fall that accompanies winter.
I've been living in Southern California, one mile from the ocean, for the past 9 years.
Pretty, but no snow.
so thank you for posting this.
We loved the living in the east coast and driving up to Vermont and New York for syrup and apples.

I'm glad you had such a splendid sunny day!

Happy almost spring!

aliceinparis said...

We have a large maple producing farms here too. Every year we look forward to the various festivals around the area. Unfortunately, we had a big ice storm last week and the maple producers were hit hard, losing trees,and getting sap lines damaged.
How wonderful that you can make your own maple syrup!!!!
I love your chicken coop!!
This is the last weekend of winter, Spring is slowly marching towards us:))
Cheers, Shelagh

Kim Mailhot said...

Yay for the Maples ! Such beautiful trees, in every season, and one of the symbols of my home ! And yay for Spring which is on its way !
I hope the spring time joys continue to fill you up !
Happy Painting !

snippetgirl said...

Ooooh, i love seeing all of your animals! That last photo is particularly precious!!
Happy Spring to you!
xoxo

Angela Recada said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful post! I still haven't seen a single robin here in Wisconsin, but it's raining rather than snowing, so Spring is on its way here, too. I really enjoy seeing your land and trees and chicken coop and all the animals, etc, etc. They are wonderful little glimpses into your beautiful world! Take care, Angela

blueberries in the fields said...

Ooooo, lulu !!! j adore ton mignon petit poulailler !j avais des poules moi aussi, jusqu'à ce que nous emménagions dans notre nouvelle maison. Notre terrain est plus petit et mon mari tiens toujours à construire un autre maison pour nos futures poules. Nous nepourrons en avoir autant qu autrefois, 4 au plus. j adorerais que mon mari puisse en faire un qui ressemble au tien ! cela t'embêterais si jamais il voulait ?
passe une belle journée ! :)
monique

Carolyn said...

woohoo! such a happy post! yay maple trees!
I love maple syrup... so heavenly!

Susan said...

What a wonderful post. I'm on a no sugar of any kind plan, but this post made me wishful for this yummy sounding water. Hmmm, your kitty kats seem to have put on some winter weight. Too cute. Take care, Susan

sUz said...

hi LuLu!

I would LOVE to come live with you! You always have the most wonderful stories, full of love and life. Thanks for sharing your joy!

iN jOy,
sUz

Peachy Cheek said...

Hi there! You always have such wonderful posts and things to share. I love it, its so sweet.

Take care!

Kim (aka peachy cheek)

michelle said...

Yeah! Maybe that means there is hope for all of us!