Visitors to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore's Maple Sugar Days can experience the entire process of Maple syrup production.
Here, Mike uses a hand brace to drill a hole into a demonstration tree. Later, he'll pound a metal spile into the hole. The spile not only acts as a spout for the sap, but also as a hanger for the collection bucket.
The bucket is then covered with a piece of sheet metal to keep out debris, animals, and most importantly, rain. The sap already has a high water content, and adding any more will only lengthen the time it takes to boil the sap down into syrup.
These buckets can be seen all over the sugar bush, and can fill up in just one night.
Posted by Tom Gill at Tuesday, March 06, 2012