Last fall, I decided that I would try to tap some of maple trees this year, and see if we can make some homemade maple syrup. Last week, I tapped the trees. Instead of the traditional splies-and-bucket approach, I'm trying something I saw others in the area do last year - covered 5-gallon buckets with polyethylene tubing. I tapped the trees on Wednesday and Thursday night, and when I checked yesterday afternoon there was already sap in a some of the buckets. Not a ton yet, but it's a start. And it's still pretty early in the season. If there is enough sap in the buckets when I check today, our first syrup-production experiment may take place this afternoon. The sap has to be boiled down into syrup within 7 days of collection, so I can't just let it accumulate all season. And the sap-to-finished-syrup ratio is about 40-to-1, so we may end up with about a thimble-full of syrup, but it will be fun anyway.