I had a good day off from work - I got a few things done, but it still felt relaxed.
A friend and I took our dogs for a walk in the woods. The little dog's name is Dexter, and he's a cute little guy...I was impressed with his enthusiasm for tennis balls, even though he can barely hang onto them.
He and Thane got along quite well, actually, mostly ignoring one another after the initial greeting, which was fine by me. At obedience class, Thane tends to be super excited to see the other dogs, so it was good to see that he is capable of settling down after a bit.
In the afternoon, I decided to go ahead with a project I've been thinking about for a long time - tapping a couple of the maple trees on our property. I bought four spiles and a length of tubing last week, and with the weather we've been having, I thought I'd check to see if the sap was flowing.
I'm just doing these two trees, since this is more of a fun experiment than anything. The one on the left is a Sugar Maple (at least, I think it is, lol. :P ) and I'm pretty sure the one on the right is a Silver Maple.
I dug a path...
...and drilled a couple holes (thanks for loaning me your drill, Dad!!), And, yes! The sap started flowing almost immediately!
I got this kind of spile. It's less expensive, and it's only 5/16th of an inch instead of the more common 7/16th, so it's supposed to be a little better for the tree (thanks for finding me a 5/16th drill bit, Dad!!).
My one tip - attach the tubing to the spile before you pound the spile into the tree! I put the first spile in by itself, and it was challenging to attach the tube to it. (Thanks for finding me empty containers, Dad!!)
I had everything all set up in the early afternoon. I went out about 5:30 or 6 this evening to empty the containers because I probably won't have time to check on them in the morning - and look how much sap we already got!
As I understand it, I'll have to collect roughly ten gallons of sap in order to end up with one quart of maple syrup. I'm not sure if I'll try to get that much...but I'm having a blast so far! I'll keep everyone posted on how the boiling down process goes. :)