“April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.”
—the oft-quoted first lines of T.S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land



MORNING LAMENT: “Boy, high today 41. I don’t know what to do,” says Chief of Operations. “This is going to go on and on. It’s too cold to clean tubing. I was thinking we could split that wood by the truck, but it’s all frozen in still. What are we going to do, just keep those guys on hold all week?”

WEATHER, April 16th: More freezing drizzle tinkled from the sky overnight, filling in any remaining brown cracks on the ground with tiny white ball bearings. It’s one notch less gray today than it was all weekend. [poor grammar alert] Who wants to go outside? Not me. Who wants to volunteer to start a fire in the wood stove? Not me. Who wants to write a blog post? Not me. Who wants to know what to tell the crew about when to come in next? I do.

We did boil on Saturday, boiling the drizzles of sap collected over a few days. Thinking it might be the last day, Ana dressed up for work, then covered her finery with an Eddie Bean jacket featuring 28 pockets. [See National Lampoon, November 1973 issue]
Closure. That’s what eludes us. We have scarcely boiled in April. Even on thaw days, the sap hasn’t run. Last week we waited for a thaw day, then when it still didn’t run, we hoped for an even warmer day. We wished it wouldn’t rain since rain tends to kill a run. We wonder now if this past weekend’s snow will revive the sap flow. We hope for more syrup; the crew wants work. The minute we declare the season over, there’s no shortage of work. But the buds are still tight, the hills aren’t red yet.


HOW’S THE SKIING? Fabulous, both Alpine and x-c. Those ball bearings make for swift skimming on skis over a woodland magic carpet. It’s getting out the door that’s tough.



Long-time sugarhouse nymph Emma, who grew up down the road a bit, writes from college in North Carolina:

“I wish I was there boiling.

In an effort to educate the Southern population about liquid gold, I’ve been spamming the entire Davidson club soccer team’s email list with Maple Syrup Facts of the Day. In response to my generous (albeit widely unrequited) provision of this knowledge, one of my friends sent me this:”

[Sistine Chapel fresco The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo, oft-parodied]

2 thoughts on “No buds, no sap

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