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I was encouraged by the number of people who showed up to Saturday’s sold-out Maple Sugaring Festival at Mass Audubon’s Moose Hill in Sharon, MA. Friends, families, and a few couples like us.

Two tours pass one another

Kids check out the wooden trough

Snow on the group, sap rising, and the sugar house was steaming maple smoke.

Catching sap in metal buckets

Yoke for young folks to carry sap

Yoke and metal pail

Displaying the color of maple syrup

Due to climate change and invasive pests, folks claim these woods are endangered. Spying the maples at Natick Community Farm and Moose Hill has been bittersweet. As a kid, having never seen them, I’d envisioned sugar maples as stately and smooth. I’ve since learned they’re more tall and gnarly, holding in their veins a thin, silent treasure.

Not a sugar maple

Not a sugar maple

Stacked tree trunks