A North Country spring is sure to include a few different things: slushy, melting snow, the return of migrating flocks, and of course, the sight of silver buckets hung on Maple trees. Chances are if you’re not boiling a few vats of syrup yourself, you have a good friend or neighbor who does. Everyone has their own special “supplier”. And while technology seems to be changing everything, most folks stick to the classics when it it comes to making syrup – taps, buckets, and a lot of time spent tending a fire.
That’s what I noticed while collecting photos of people working in the Adirondack North Country for NCPR’s project North Country at Work. It didn’t matter where (be it the St. Lawrence Valley or the southern Adirondacks) or when (be it 1900 or 1970) the maple sugaring was going on – everyone does it the same, though the materials used for equipment vary. Check out the buckets as they go from wood to shiny metal to dull silver to white plastic.
Here’s a look back at maple sugaring through the ages in our region.