Starting Saturday afternoon and lasting through Tuesday evening, I took a bit of time all for me. I planned to do only things that would make me happy and to worry about no one else. Stop number one on my itinerary was to visit “Uncle Rick’s” sugar shack. I’ve known for some time that Rick boils sap every year, but I had never been able to fit it into my schedule to visit his operation. Saturday would be the last day he planned to boil – and the first day of my vacation! Perfect timing.
Rick collects sap from trees on his property and on properties within a mile of his house. Katie and I rode along and helped empty the buckets. The sap was flowing fast.
Lots of critters enjoy the sap, including moths and beetles. We rescued a couple.
Rick also stopped the truck to rescue a wooly bear.
Back at the shack, Rick filters the sap to remove insects and chunks of bark and who knows what that may have fallen into the buckets despite the lids.
The wood stove provides heat under two giant rectangular tubs.
As he pours sap into the larger of the two, he moves rubber bands along a series of nails to help him remember how many gallons he started with.
Before moving the sap from the large tub to the smaller for the final boil, he filters it again.
The resulting syrup is liquid gold. Katie and I enjoyed testing it.
Thanks, Rick, for an educational and fun afternoon!