As we are experiencing the early signs of spring, naturalist and sap alike are starting to run! During one of those runs, we noticed blue bags hanging from a group of trees a little off highway 6. Upon inspection, we realized some of the locals have begun their annual process of tapping maple trees and collecting its sweet sap. While tracking phenology, or the changing of seasons, it was observed that maples were running 3 weeks earlier than average. This year has been on average wetter and warmer by 3 degrees Fahrenheit due to the El Nino effect and this has contributed to the general early trend we’ve been observing in plants and animals. It’s going to be getting sweeter up here on the ridge… oh man now this post is getting sappy.
Top photo from University of Minnesota Duluth Yard and Garden News Blog
Bottom photo from http://www.mcsmusicfriends.org/