This will likely bring a rapid halt to the sample syrup production. Trees head towards leafing out quickly from the first bud stage. A few days of feeling the increased heat from a closer sun, soon shifts the mechanism in the sugar maple from sending up sap from the shallow root system to the branches... to supplying the energy to the buds for the purpose of leafing out. This shifts the focus from sugar production to photosynthbrings the sugaring off to a final closing.
I did not make it out to actually visit a shanty in production... but I will check it out this week. Maybe I'll be in luck. I wanted to create one larger painting to celebrate this unique springtime ritual in a new way. So often my paintings tend to be directed to simply painting the sheds or gathering process. But this year... I searched for another way to juxtapose and celebrate both the sugarin' off... and the coming of Spring itself. I fleshed out some ideas... and finally arrived at this scenario - one which I have indeed witnessed on more than one occasion over the years. This does accompany the predictable human gathering rituals... but "We"... aren't the only ones with that idea! Perhaps the "idea" to gather sap... might have originated with these wee gatherers... or others of their kind. Who knows???
This is my take on a pair of tiny Black-capped Chickadee hunter-gathers... busy in the hardwood stands This is my first day of work and it will continue until I complete the painting, hopefully before the end of the weekend. Lots still to do on this one... but I do intend to try to maintain the current loose and "painterly" style in completing the painting! It has a plein air ambiance at this point that I like. We'll see how our Easter celebration plans... a weekend visit from my son Bryn unfolds. Family first!
Good Painting!...and A Happy Easter to ALL!
"The Sweet Taste of Spring" - oil on toned panel 20x16 inches