Dear Curiosity Journal,

On Saturday morning, we pulled the first 20 gallons of “near-syrup” from the boiler and hauled it back to the kitchen for the final stages of evaporation and canning. The electric stove top allows for a more fine-tuned temperature regulation than the wild-burning wood stove, which varies with every thrust of timber and gust of wind. We’re now boiling simultaneously in the woods and the milkhouse kitchen (opting not to cook down in the farmhouse this year, as this century-old structure has enough complications without bringing in full weather systems). Last year, I infamously, “made it rain” by evaporating so much sap that it formed saccharine clouds and had no other choice but to precipitate back down. I did a stint of solo sapping while Rufus tended to chores at the homestead. I read my book, taking periodic pauses in the narrative to feed wood to the fire and water to the sky, the circular efforts of a sugar fiend, with syrup on the mind.