Following a winter with plenty of days below zero, the sap isn't quite ready to run. Days need to be above freezing, and nights need to dip below freezing for the sap to start running enough to collect. We have had a few days above freezing, so the staff and volunteers at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore were able to collect a bit of sap for Maple Sugar Days, two weekends of Maple sugaring demonstrations.
The sugar shack houses a wood fired evaporator to boil off the majority of the water from the maple sap. With the cold weather, the sugar shack is the most comfortable portion of the maple sugaring process, inside a building with a large fire burning, and plenty of steam. So much steam, in fact, that it "rains" inside the building as the steam hits the cold steel roof, and condensates.
Posted by Tom Gill at Sunday, March 09, 2014