search instagram arrow-down

Recent Posts

Archives

Top Posts & Pages

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,642 other followers

likeable-blog-1337-1x.png

Thanks for Freshly Pressing me again!!

Freshly Pressed

Blog Stats

Blogs I Follow

Blog Stats

And again! Thank you to all who follow and support me!!

Every Spring, when the weather is just right, (cold nights and warm days) the Maple trees give up their sap. Enterprising New Englanders gather this sap by drilling taps into the trees and catching the liquid in buckets. It is then hauled to a sugar house where a wood fired evaporator boils it down to our cherished Maple Syrup. This honey-like product is a staple in cooking and a favorite on a large stack of pancakes.

Saturday was the 17th Annual Sap Gathering Contest at Stonewall Farm. According to their website, “This event highlights not only the state’s important maple syrup industry, but also celebrates New Hampshire’s rich farm heritage.” Seventeen teams of draft horses,  teamsters, and “sap runners” competed. The contest involves hitching the team to a sled with a large tank on the back. The two sap runners must dump 40 buckets of sap into the tank as the teamster guides the sled and horses around a course through the woods and fields. All of the sap buckets and their caps on the course must be emptied and properly installed back on the trees. Speed and amount of sap gathered are tallied for each team; penalties include spilled or missed buckets, and horse/teamster mishaps.

As the actual running of the sap has passed, volunteers filled the buckets with water before each team came through. One of those kind helpers was my daughter Hannah. It was cold but sunny and this year there was no snow to contend with. This made it easier on the sap runners but harder on the horses to pull the sleds, particularly when the tank on the back was full and they were racing up the hill to the finish.

I was there to cheer on my friends George and Mary and their winning team. The two runners hustled, leaping off the sled and dashing ahead to fill their buckets, dumping them into the tank as George drove his mother/daughter team of draft horses.

DSC_2354 (1)

DSC_2339

_DSC0044 _DSC0032

Here are some shots from the day:

DSC_2344 DSC_2402

DSC_2425 DSC_2414 DSC_2397 DSC_2375 DSC_2387 DSC_2369 _DSC0152 _DSC0147 _DSC0140 _DSC0101 _DSC0113 _DSC0097 _DSC0094 _DSC0027

Of course the day would not be complete without the winner’s prize and Hanni falling in love with a new friend…

_DSC0166 DSC_2429

After all, it wasn’t about gathering sap, it was about people gathering to enjoying a day in the life…

 

13 comments on “The Sap Gathering Contest

  1. Touring NH says:

    I went several years ago, it was bitterly cold with a fair amount of snow. Lucky for the teams this year it wasn’t a mud race. What a beautiful bunch of teams.

    1. They were so gorgeous! Even if you aren’t a “horse person” you couldn’t help but love the massive beasts with their kind eyes and willing hearts. Thanks Laura!

  2. I can see the intensity of the race in the faces of the participants. What a great by-product – my syrup at home is always the real stuff.

    1. Glad you buy the real stuff, Susan. It’s funny to me that most of the country doesn’t know the difference. Aunt Jemima and Mrs Butterworth are not even close to the real thing.

    1. So big in every way. As you can see from the difference in size between Hanni’s head and the horse’s in the black & white photo. They are gentle giants! Thanks.

  3. julieallyn says:

    Sounds like a fantastically fun event!!

    1. There certainly were some characters there, Julie!

  4. Marie Keates says:

    What fun! Your photos are lovely. So evocative of gentler times. They could so easily have been taken a hundred years ago. Beautiful horses and I love the kiss at the end.

    1. I have been spending time with a new friend from Oxford who tells me your part of the country is truly lovely. But I knew that! Thank you Marie.

      1. Marie Keates says:

        We are very lucky with our scenery

  5. Nolsie says:

    Beautiful photos Martha!

    1. Thank you Mark. It was a really fun day.

Love to know what you are thinking! And thank you for commenting.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Putnam, in the studio and beyond

Reflections and ruminations in Education, Beauty, Art and Philosophy

Gringa of the Barrio

A Sassy Barrio Gringa Telling It Like It Is

Badfish & Chips Cafe

Travel photos, memoirs & letters home...from anywhere in the world

The city of adventure

From there to back again (usually on a bike)

Nolsie Notes

My stories, observations, and art.

Shellie Troy Anderson

~ WRITER, REBEL, RACONTEUR ~ AND MOST OF THE TIME A MIDDLE-AGED DESK JOCKEY

Oh, the Places We See . . .

Honey, grab the GPS.

The Task at Hand

A Writer's On-Going Search for Just the Right Words

The Next Phase Blog

Social commentary and opinions: No guns, politics, or religion.

Breaking New Ground in Zone 6

The adventures of Southern gardeners starting over in New England

Marsha's Bungalow

the WW2 era chicken coop

iwalkalone.co.uk

the world one step at a time

Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

Susan's Musings

Whimsical Stuff from a Writer's Mind

Travels with Choppy

A dog and cat in clothing. Puns. Travel. Bacon. Not necessarily in that order.

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

A Sawyer's Daughter

The Life & Times of a Sawmill Man's Eldest Child

Formaggio Kitchen

Artisan cheese, charcuterie and specialty food.

Not Another Tall Blog

Not just another tall blog. Because being tall is NOT all we talk about! Follow me for tall talents, tall fashion, rock interviews and more!

On The Heath

where would-be writer works with words

The adventures of timbertwig in the forest of Burnley and the Rossendale Valley

crafts, permaculture, forest management, self employment, cycling

cheryl62blog

Time to change, live, encourage and reflect.

GARDEN OF EADY

Bring new life to your garden!

The Grey Enigma

Help is not coming. Neither is permisson. - https://twitter.com/Grey_Enigma

Ethereal Nature

The interface of the metaphysical, the physical, and the cultural

UP!::urban po'E.Tree(s)

by po'E.T. and the colors of pi

Kindness Blog

Kindness Images, Videos, True Life Stories, Quotes, Personal Reflections and Meditations.

Crazy Green Thumbs

Chronicling a delusional gardening experience.

New Hampsha' Bees

Raising bees holistically in New Hampshire

Nicholas Andriani

Adventure Travel and Gastronomy, Passionately Explored

AM Simpson

Loves Final Kiss

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

Therapeutic Misadventures

Daily musings on life after 60 & recreating oneself

valeriu dg barbu

©valeriu barbu

Writing Out Loud

A Place of Observation

cancer killing recipe

Just another WordPress.com site

Archon's Den

The Rants & Rambles of A Grumpy Old Dude

hoosiersunshine13

Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why. -Kurt Vonnegut

Once upon a time... I began to write

My journey in writing a novel

Not a Day Over 45

A View from Mid-Life

theflexifoodie.wordpress.com/

Delicious plant-based, whole food recipes & my healthy living tips!

Sharon Rawlette

Memoirist. Essayist. Philosopher.

Diane Tibert

~ writer - editor - publisher ~

Amintiri din Bucătărie

Memories from the Kitchen

White Shadows

Story of a white pearl that turned to ashes while waiting for a pheonix to be born inside her !

At Home in New Hampshire

Living and Writing in the North East

JOSELYN'S BRAWL

Two rare, life-threatening diseases that led to a bone marrow transplant and a snappy Buttkick List

Stephanie Raffelock

A good story can transform the way that you see the world.