Saturday, April 2, 2011

Adventures in sap collecting

Several years ago, my brother, Jon, and his friend, Branden, decided they were going to start collecting sap to make maple syrup.  Of course the dads had to get involved and now...well, you can read about the whole story here on my mom's blog.

Sap is a-runnin right now, but the men-folk are all up north putting in a new dock at the family cabin.  We really needed a new dock!
I took this picture when my friend and I were at the cabin last summer.  See the dock?  It's pretty crooked.  I think it may even tip over into the lake at some point.  Yep, it needed replacing!

This leaves my mom and I to collect the sap.  I've never taken part in any part of the maple syrup operation, except eating the yummy stuff when it's all made.  So, this was my first time out there driving the four-wheeler around the woods and pouring the sap into the tank strapped to the four-wheeler.  It's a messy job, but someone's gotta do it!

Are you ready to go sap collecting with us?  Let's go!

This is the four-wheeler we drive around to collect the sap.
This is the tank we pour the sap into
that is strapped to the four-wheeler we  drive around to collect the sap.
(This is beginning to sound like The House that Jack Build nursery rhyme.  I'll stop that now!)
This is me driving the four-wheeler to collect the sap.
See all those white buckets on the trees?  Those are all the buckets full of sap that we have to dump into the tank on the back of the four-wheeler. That's mom there hiding behind that tree ☺
There goes the sap into the tank!
Sosha says this looks like a good tree to empty!
Oops!  I got a little sidetracked by the the pretty red berries.  Don't mind the dog in the picture.  She thought that since I was interested in something on the ground, there must be a mole or other small animal that must be caught.  Moments after I snapped this picture, Duke noticed the ground party we were having and made his way over.  All future attempts to snap a better picture of the berries was soon ruined by the berries being smooshed under dog feet.

Time to empty the tank we poured the sap into that is strapped to the four-wheeler we drove around to collect the sap. Oh, I wasn't supposed to channel my House that Jack Build mojo anymore.  Sorry, I won't let it happen again!
First you attach the hosey thing to the tank.
Then you turn on the pump and open the tank.
And finally, you sit back, relax and watch all the sap you collected make it's way to the big holding tank until it's ready to be boiled.
And now, you go back and do it all over again with the second set of trees...I won't take you through it all over again.

But, here are some more random fun pictures from our sap collecting experience.
Mom making her way back from a hard-to-get-to tree.
This is my trying to us a dead tree branch to hammer a spile (spouty thing) that fell out of the tree when I tried to take a bucket off.  Notice the dogs watching (and probably laughing at) me! ☺  
I had to drive through a big, deep mud puddle without getting stuck.  It was scary, but I did it with almost no screaming on my part ☺ 
A bucket full of sap.  See that clear, water-like substance in there?  Yep, that's the sap!
And that bucket came from this tree.  We've named it the Giving Tree because it gives so much sap!
And that is the end of my story.  I hope you've enjoyed coming along while we collected the sap!  Now, I'm off to take a little nap! ☺


  1. You make it sound a lot more fun than I do! :-) Hopefully, we can get out there and collect today before it starts raining...that would not be fun!

  2. Great post. I enjoyed it and all the humor you added. Love the dogs.

  3. Thanks so much for taking us along on this interesting adventure!

  4. That was really interesting! I love all the pictures. You live in such a beautiful area.


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