Nothing says "Spring" more to me than a visit to a sugar shack!
In the Spring, when the temperatures go above freezing in the day and below freezing at night, the sugar sap in maple trees start to flow. For centuries people have been tapping maple trees and collecting the precious sap which is then boiled down to a thick syrup, know as maple syrup. It is very very sweet and has a woody flavour that can't be described any other way. The parts of North America that produce the most maple syrup are: Ontario, Quebec and Vermont. Maple syrup is THE quintessential Canadian treat, but it needs to be known that it was discovered long before any settlers came along, as it was the First Nations people who first produced the delicious syrup first.
Legend has it that in the beginning it was sweet thick maple syrup came out of maple trees in the Spring, not watery sap. Nanabush (the great First Nations Spirit) was upset that his people were becoming gluttonous by drinking the thick sweet syrup and was worried that they would become too lazy, so he decided to make his people work for the sweet stuff and poured water down the trunk of the maple tree, thus diluting the syrup and making it into a watery sap that needs to be boiled down.
Yesterday we took a trip to a nearby sugar bush and farm. Noah and I went with my Dad and Heather (Noah's Grampy and Hedy). There, we took a tractor ride, tasted some maple taffy, visited the petting zoo (Noah's favourite part!) and played on the big play structure. It was warm and sunny and muddy and perfect!
I loved watching my little Noni take it all in. Did I mention that his favourite part of the trip was the animal? The kid is crazy for animals, which makes me happy. It was so fun to watch him run around in all directions, splashing in puddles and trying to call the animals over to him.
This trip home has been really great so far. The weather has so lovely and we have been spending lots of time doing fun outings like going to the museum, the park, the farm and today to a little classical trio concert. I'm trying to take it all in, and am trying to enjoy every minute of it. Just a week and a bit left here before I head home to Whitehorse and it's going by far too quickly.
Happy Spring everyone!