So, the time of year had once again come upon us that the sap was running in the trees. We were very excited about the tapping time this year, as we had expanded our operation to include some of our friend's trees as well as our own. One Saturday morning we had enough sap to start and Josiah and Faith headed out to set up our borrowed barrel and begin the boiling process.
We set up our barrel in a different spot from last year, and because the day was nice, began with little to no protection.
The wind picked up a little, so Josiah leaned a few paper filled pallets up to block the breeze while he stoked the fire. It soon became apparent, however, that the couple of pallets were not going to be satisfactory, especially as Monday, the next day for boiling, was predicted to be rainy.
So by Monday afternoon, sitting on our property, was a first rate sugar shack, complete with a metal roof, (you couldn't hear a thing when the rain came down :) a hole in said roof to let out the smoke, and a dog to guard the front door.
Inside it was dry, mainly, very warm and cozy and even had seating for a visitor. But Josiah wasn't finished and still had some decorating and renovating to do.
There, now it is official.
Sometimes the guard dog quits her post and comes to warm up by the fire and keep the Maple Master company.
Josiah practically lives out in his shack on boiling days, only coming in for a refreshment or two.
The latest additions to the shack include a mud room/hall where the front door is, and a hat/coat rack, so you can hang up your coat, kick off your boots, and relax.
No matter the weather, if there is sap to be boiled, out to the shack the boy goes first thing in the morning. So far he has made syrup during a deluge of rain, in sunshine, and with an inch of snow on his roof. It just makes it more cozy inside.
So if anyone has an afternoon free and wants to just relax and chat, Josiah will be out in his shack, and happy for some company.
And just maybe, maybe, if you stay long enough and help out enough, you might get a taste of really, truly delicious syrup!!!