Here is J on the morning of my newest favorite family ritual, the Maple Syrup Festival up in Somewhere, Indiana--I know it's near a town called "Mongo," but that's about it. This year was different than last--there were people there. Lots of 'em. We had to wait in line for 30 minutes to get in, even, and that was a drag, but once inside they bring the pancakes and sausage to you in abundance and afterward you ride the horse-drawn wagon through the woods where the syrup is rising at that very moment and you see the sincere little Boy Scouts emptying buckets of the stuff into other buckets. We'll go next year, too, I'm pretty sure, even though it seems to have been "discovered."
Did you know you can, in theory, tap any old tree and make syrup out of it? The only real difference is that non-maple trees have lower amounts of sugar in the sap, which means that you have to boil it longer to get the stuff. I'm tempted to try some of the trees in our yard.