The cold and frozen earth is warming and the tapping of maple syrup can begin.
Wise Food Ways puts it well:
The running of the sap in the maple trees of the north is something that only happens at this time of year -- a time when the earth is still covered with snow and ice and there is as yet no visible sign of spring. But the thaw has begun. The first drops of sweet nectar from tree taps was living proof that nature is in a constant state of change and flux, and that there is a lot going on underneath the surface. There are forces moving that we cannot even begin to perceive.I wonder who first 'discovered' maple syrup? And how disappointed everyone must have been when the sap stopped running. Then the answered prayer when the miracle was repeated the following year, in sync with spring days that grew longer and nights that grew warmer. Only for a short period of time, with precious drops bottled for use in later seasons.
So I will make it a point to savour this special treat in the coming month. Some pancakes or French Toast... or maybe garnet yams with maple syrup, maple-glazed salmon or warm spinach and squash salad with maple dressing. There's no shortage of mouth-watering recipes.
Here's a video that features a Sugar Shack and small maple syrup production in Ontario. You can hear the fire crackling and see the syrup bubbling away, along with some great fiddle and folk music to match the mood: