With the return of warm daytime temps (anything above freezing is 'warm' around here) and below freezing night time temps, the sap is flowing well in the sugar maples. It is being collected in buckets and barrels, all of which will soon be emptied into evaporators to be boiled down to maple syrup.
Yes, it's sugaring time here in northern New England!
Far too many of you out there think that the dark amber stuff you pour on your pancakes or French toast is maple syrup, but it's not. Instead, it's maple flavored corn syrup with food coloring to approximate the color of Grade A maple syrup. You don't know what you've been missing.
Of course, we here at the Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Manse are all too spoiled when it comes to maple syrup. The WP Father-In-Law taps the trees on his property every year and boils the sap down until it reaches the proper consistency. A lot of that maple syrup makes its way to our breakfast table.
Some of you out there may think that there's very little difference between the pseudo-syrup and the real thing, but I know at least one person who will beg to differ. One of the local Mormon missionaries that has been visiting our home has told us that he can no longer stomach the pseudo-syrup. When he returns to his home in California he will be taking at least a couple of one-gallon jugs of New Hampshire maple syrup with him. We've promised to keep him supplied once he returns to the Left Coast.
If the weather cooperates we should see one of the better sugaring seasons in some time.