Welcome, April.

Crew member Ana shared with us that the Ojibwe of the Great Lakes region call each month a “moon.”
March is Onaabani-giizis, or hard crust on the snow moon;
April is Iskigamigee-giizis, or maple sugar moon.


Drawing by Ana Lucia Fernandez. She writes:  [This drawing] represents the medicine wheel, sugar maple tree rings, collecting sap, and the month of April. Those four all reflect what is happening in my life right now!

For more on Ojibwe sugaring from a child’s perspective: .)https://www.glifwc.org/publications/pdf/Iskigamizigan_Supplement.pdf


March 31 was the full Sap Moon, not to be confused with the Maple Sugar Moon which is another way of saying April.  Photo: Sue Nicholls

Weather: Nothing to alarm a sugarmaker. Sun, clouds, snow, hail, rain, wind.  In the past week there have been a few freezing nights and a few nights in the 30’s. Daytime temps have drifted either side of 40. The buds won’t pop just yet if these cooler temps persist.

How’s it Running? Fair, but the sap adds up.

Boiling Status: Daily short boils for 9 days, a day off on Monday, then another short boil today, Day Twenty.



Seven-Day Niter Primer, Day Four: Backyard sugarmakers, tapping just a few trees, may filter out the niter with cheesecloth draped over a colander. A more sophisticated apparatus is the filter tank. This tank is a high, rectangular metal box. Inside, three thick felt cones hang from a frame, like upside-down dunce caps. You line the felt cones with paper filters and fasten them to the felt cones with clothes pins. Then you pour the pail of hot syrup into one of the cones and close the lid. You hear the plunk-plunk as drops of syrup strike the bottom of the tank.


Notable Maples:

Svalbard on the vernal equinox. Notable for lack of trees. Photo by Maeve McGovern of Nebraska Valley and Tromsø, Norway. She writes: I spent the equinox collecting samples from reindeer to test for mercury and organic pollutants. It was so calm and peaceful.


Music to Boil By:

The soundtrack to the movie The Darjeeling Limited  (2007)
Green Sky Bluegrass



2 thoughts on “Iskigamigee-giizis

  1. Just wow! Thanks to Lew and Audrey, Ana, and Maeve for a very special post! I heard on a local weather station, that it was not only a Full Sap Moon (or Maple Sugar Moon), but a Blue Sap Moon…happy sugaring!


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