When I get close, I can see that the pails are mostly on. That's the best part.
All around the spigots there are stains from wasted sap that has bled out and onto the ground.
A wound spilling out. Wasting away for no purpose. I have done a terrible thing.
I check the pails that remained fast and they do have some collected.
A cup or so in a few and three or four cups in others.
The first one, the one I did with the most care, has a couple of liters.
I reset a couple of pails. I return my collection to the sugar shack.
The stains on the trees are bright as flags of blood in my eyes
I drive past on my way to the radio station.
On the tree nearest the road, the sap is running so heavily it trickles
like the beginning of a mountain stream.
I have done a terrible thing.
Lincoln Manning runs Two Eagle Automotive which is next door to The Eagle 107.7 FM - Your First Nation Radio Station.
Lincoln has tapped trees and made his own Maple Syrup in the past. I tell him that I am looking for a plastic spigot of some kind that would be large enough to fit into the holes I bored into the trees. He smiles and steps out from behind his counter and walks to a shelf. He hold up an white spigot. He says that he sold a few for the very same purpose.
Lincoln does a fair business with the farmers, builders, fixers and general do-it-your-selfers from the non-Native communities in the area. They like the location and selection. They love the tax free for all business model.
I buy one that is the closest size I can approximate.
We talk some and when I ask if he thinks it will work, he smiles that smile that wishes you well and you can never tell.
After work, I stand at the tree with the white plumbing spigot in my hand. I see myself pushing and twisting and screwing with force this white plastic spigot threaded to dig and scrape into place. Plastic thread cut into hard maple. There is no way that is happening. It'll just make things worse.
Why did I make so many holes? What the hell were you thinking?
You have to be so right, right now.
Look at that. All of those trees. Those old trees.
I don't know if anyone else is seeing that. Nobody is saying anything.
Two weeks of this. Will it start to run faster.
I keep getting some though. I might be ready to boil this time tomorrow.
Science has not configured an accepted theory on why sap runs. It has to do with the extremes of temperature in spring in this part of Turtle Island. It has to be below freezing overnight and warm during the day.
The mechanics are agreed upon although there is no why. There are no leafs on the trees. Why does the tree require sugar and nutrients from the earth to be carried from top to bottom? What is it feeding.
Although it is the sugar that our bodies require, it is the minerals and other nutrients that are contained within Maple Syrup make it the true Superfood.
Maple Syrup healthiest sweetener
54 beneficial compounds in Maple Syrup