I know this because we put in the first maple spiles of the season on Wednesday. And by "we," I mean A., with the negligible assistance of Cubby and me.
First A. used the hand drill to drill some holes in the trees.
While Cubby inspected the ground closely for beavee (beaver) tracks. Kid's obsessed with beavers. Don't ask me.
Next A. drove in the spiles (the taps).
While Cubby picked up the drill and ran off with it.
And then A. hung the buckets with the lids.
While Cubby disappeared to head purposefully for the creek, with every intention of soaking himself, I have no doubt. Too bad his mom's such a killjoy and wouldn't let him go swimming.
Some of the trees were actually running the day we put in the spiles, though it was too cold for the sap to run yesterday. The coming days, however, are perfect sap running weather: freezing at night, above freezing during the day, with sun.
Bring on the syrup. I only have about half a cup left from last year.
Oh! And also! Cubby and I spotted the first snowdrops of the year in the bed by the dining room door. On the first day of February.
I don't know what the hell Mama N. is playing at here, but I'll accept this unexpected sign of spring to come. As long as there are no horrific snowstorms waiting to blast us in March. I put nothing past that Mama N. She's a crafty one.