Photographer's Note

The maple season has just started. Sugarhouses are literally in full steam. During this time, in the beginning of Spring, when temperatures and other factors are favourable, the maple tree offers its best sap for the production of the famous syrup.
It is an inherited Amerindian tradition in Canada, particularly in Quebec.
The leaf of this tree is the one of the Canadian flag.
The best maple syrup in the world is produced in Quebec, where the natural conditions are more favourable.
Although many maple producers use modern systems, there are lots of sugarhouses still using the traditional bucket-with-spout-and-cover system for tapping their trees, like the old method. The sugarhouse on the picture is one of them, in old style, without electricity, really rustic. They make a hole in the trunk of the tree and put a bucket to collect the sap, as we can see on this photo. Then the liquid is boiled in large containers.
The steam coming out of the top of the roof is the result of the evaporation of the sap which is concentrated in this way to be transformed in 100% natural syrup.
On weekends, families and friends use to meet in sugarhouses for typical meals, to play accordion and sing folkloric songs, or just to have fun, while helping to do the work.

The sugar maple tree is also sought after for its fine wood. It is tough, hard, often used to make furniture.

(this photo was taken in 2005 season)

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Additional Photos by Maria do Carmo Vieira Montfils (Docarmo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2915 W: 313 N: 4253] (9767)
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