Snow Fog in the Sugar Bush

I’ve been out in the sugar bush for the past 4 days or so. A couple of days ago it had rained, but there was still a lot of snow on the ground. As the day progressed, a creepy layer of fog lay just over the hills and valleys of the bush, inspiring the title of this piece. I really didn’t have a story to go with this title, but I felt the title was too good to waste, so here you go.

I’ve gathered 3 times in the afternoons so far, and have managed to boil everything before heading home for supper. This gives me time in the mornings for other projects, which I’m taking advantage of, because once the run starts for real, there will be no more spare time. Today’s sap gather was around 12 gallons, which takes me an hour or two to get boiled down enough that I can let the 5 gallon reservoir dribble into the pan after I stoke the fire, close off the air, and leave the evaporator to its own devices when I call it a day.

So far no syrup has emerged from the pan, but I’m getting close to the point where I should start checking with the hydrometer. Once the syrup starts to come, the magic happens. The bottling in quart and pint jars starts, the shelf in the basement begins to bulge with the sweet syrup, and the end of the season starts to look attractive. For now it is all so new that strapping on the snowshoes for another gather gives me a thrill.

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