Sunday, April 24, 2011

A perfect day

Today was a perfect day in the sugar bush. It didn’t matter that the sap wasn’t really running. This Easter Sunday, like nearly every Easter Sunday for the past 26 years, we spent our day in Budd and Marguerite Andrew’s sugarbush.

The sun glistened off the waters of Grandrud Lake. The call of the loon echoed through the woods. Drifts of pelicans glided just beyond the trees, to settle on the lake. The air was full of the sound of people laughing and talking and making music.

We hung intricately decorated eggs in trees. We found bright wire baskets holding plainer eggs in trees. We hid eggs in hollows in trees, under logs, and around corners. Kids and adults ran or strolled from one bright spot of color to the next, adding eggs to their baskets. When they had found all the eggs that they could, they rehid some of their eggs for the next group of hunters.

We ate ham and fresh bread, strawberries and jicama, hot cross buns and peeps, hummus and vegetables, and of course, eggs – chocolate, malted milk, deviled, and just plain hard boiled.

It was a sweet day.
It was a bittersweet day.

Today was our last day in the sugarbush on the shore of Grandrud Lake. Next year, we will be in a new sugarbush on another piece of property. We will begin to learn new paths through a new woods. We will discover the biggest maples and where the wild leeks grow. We will explore a whole new ecosystem for signs of beaver, coon, otter, fisher and squirrel. We will learn where the bloodroot blooms, and the crimson cap fungus first appears in the spring. We will search for sumac to carve into spiles and pussy willows to harvest. We will locate new sources of grape vine and bittersweet for baskets. We will begin to name the trees. There will never be another Lacey, that huge, gnarled old maple whose branches are dying, but who is still one of the best sap producers in the woods, but we’ll find another tree to begin building legends around.

In a new sugar bush we won’t have to scavenge as far as we’ve had to the last few years for dead trees; there will be lots of wood for burning where-ever we set up our sugar camp. On the other hand, we will have to build a new shed to store our gear and find a new place to hang the kitchen cupboard. But maybe, we’ll finally build the roof over the fires that we’ve always dreamed of, so that even on rainy days people will be comfortable out in the woods. And then, as we stand around the fires, splitting wood, toasting bread or making pudgy pies in pie irons, we will tell the stories of the years in the old sugar bush, and begin creating new legends.

1 comment:

  1. I loved reading your post today. Thank you. ~ Dawn