It’s been more than two weeks since we’ve had any measurable snow or sleet and local optimists (a distinct minority) are beginning to hope that the worst of winter is behind us. Gauging this kind of thing is a tricky business in New England. It’s not at all unusual for us to get as much snow in March as in January. But lately there have been a couple of sights that reinforce the notion that warmer days are coming soon.
Right after Valentine’s Day I noticed that the sap buckets had appeared on the older sugar maples that line the main road bringing people in from the freeway to our little town.
As the weather warms and the tree juices begin to flow, members of our town’s chapter of Future Farmers of America collect it to make maple syrup. Their Sugar Shack is located at the Narragansett High School. (More on that when the cooking starts.)
Apparently the sappiest place in Narragansett a little patch of land near the elementary school, tucked in between the public tennis courts and the American Legion ball field. There are at least half a dozen trees with three or more buckets. It's such an old fashioned sign of spring.