It must be Spring - people around here are starting to make maple syrup! The sap is rising and, as our friend Dave Barnes says: "The trees are bleeding for us!" Now, first you must know that around here nobody is tapping sugar maples (Acer saccharum); the true sugar maple just doesn't grow well here, we're a little too cold and too dry. They are hard to get established as they seem to suffer severe die back during a lot of winters. Around here people are tapping Manitoba maples or box elders (Acer negundo). Our neighbours Amanda and Ed are experienced 'tappers' and they describe the sugar maple syrup as having a slight vanilla flavor not apparent in Manitoba maple syrup. I have always thought of our local syrup as having a hint of an herbal taste. The point being it's not the same, but it's still darn good.