Forest, Spring (in process)

by Susan Abbott

For a few weeks in early spring, sugarbushes (maple woods) are busy places, with tree after tree either festooned the old-fashioned way with metal buckets hanging from hammered spigots, or beribboned in the modern style by lines of hosing running to collecting barrels. Either way the precious sap will be carefully collected, trucked in a pickup down a muddy back road, and boiled for hours by closely watching families in many a small, steamy sugarhouse.