For a while I have noticed the hoses from one tree to the other. I wonder if it is just easier to leave them up or if with this warm, unusual winter, syrup can come with any warming of the weather. But today, the tin buckets hung from a hundred trees.
As a kid, riding in the back seat around northeastern Ohio in March, my mom pointed out the buckets. She explained their purpose. Another time, they bought me maple sugar formed into shapes, like the obvious maple leaf, but also old fashioned dressed people and I think a cat, too.
My favorite explanation about sugaring time lives in Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. They all gather at the grandma's bigger cabin for a grand time, with dancing. Laura describes it all, even fighting with her cousin, the other Laura. As I was checking her spelling, I see tomorrow is her birthday.
I just loved seeing those tin, a little bit rusty, buckets in the bright sunshine on my way home. It is a sure sign of late winter. I can't complain about this winter. Though it does remind me of paraphrasing C.S. Lewis- always spring, never summer. As my grandma would say, "Good pneumonia weather." It is easy to run around without a coat, then evening comes with a deeper cold. I do miss the snow. Brown is brown even in the yellow sun. Soon, though, the spring will be here with summer close behind.