Autumn Leaves Day
"May your sap run strong and sweet." ~ Traditional sugar makers good luck wish
Only three of 13 species of maple trees native to Canada are used for maple syrup - Sugar maples, Black Maples and Red Maples. Indigenous peoples living in northeastern North America were the first groups known to have produced maple syrup and maple sugar, known as Sinsibuckwud is the Algonquin language. According to an Algonquin legend, maple flavour was discovered by a chief who struck a maple tree with his axe. His wife saw the sap dripping from the tree, collected it in a bucket and used it to boil meat. Aboriginal tribes developed rituals around sugar-making, celebrating the Sugar Moon (the first full moon of spring) with a Maple Dance.
The sugar maple tree (Acer saccharum) is a much loved tree not only for its delicious syrup and value as lumber, but for its amazing fall color. As the seasons change, the leaves turn vibrant shades of yellow, burnt orange and red.
This tartan, designed by Carol A.L. Martin, echoes all the colors of a the changing foliage of a maple tree during a bright autumn day.
Maple trees can live to 200 years and beyond, and some have been tapped for 150 years or more.
Maple syrup, derived from the sap of the sugar maple sap is a very complex combination of water, sugar, minerals, anti-oxidants, and vitamins. “May your sap run strong and sweet” is a common “good luck” saying between sugar makers. First Nations people would leave their year-round settlements and travel to the “sugar bushes” to set up their “sugar camps” for the period of the Maple Moon.
For a delicious seasonal treat of Maple Pecan Sticky Buns, click the maple leaves for recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction.
May your sap run strong and sweet this season.