Winter has been way too long this year. The weathermen claim this past February was the coldest in one hundred and ten years! Well, as night breaks into day bringing sunshine and warmth, winter will be a memory soon and we will all be whining about the heat. Human Nature is, I suppose to complain. Some folks look for the head of a crocus for the first sign of Spring. But in Vermont, the first sign is warming days with freezing nights and the Sugariing Tradition begins! Much work goes into the process. The first step is finding all your taps and buckets. After that comes the adventure of heading out to the sugar woods and drilling and taping trees and waiting for the first run of sap. These treks usually involve hiking through waist deep snow and working in some pretty rough going. Now the sap will only run during the warmth of the day until darkness sets in and it freezes at night. Buckets are gathered and poured into larger tanks to be boiled in the evaporator with nothing added to make Maple Syrup. The run lasts only a couple of weeks until the trees begin to bud and then the sap goes to the buds instead of the buckets. Sugaring, for those willing to work, is a viable source of additional income and one of my favorite traditions that make Vermont the wonderful state it is. Stay warm and have faith! Enjoy and keep shooting!