Because the days are warming, the sun is higher in the sky, and the last of our November ice is beginning to melt away, I reckon that’s the excuse I give for having such a wild Maple dream the other night.  I dreamed I was upcountry in Vermont, in the Town of Cabot to be exact, when I come upon this powerful amount of steam pouring from atop a sugar house.  I pulled up to take a look.  The sign at the road read Goodrich Sugar House.  I moseyed on in to find a monster of an evaporator.  A fire-eating dragon, glinting stainless steel, with windows to view the sap as it made its way through the boiling process to become pure Vermont Maple Syrup.  That monster consumed 45 gallons of fossil fuel and produced 100 gallons of Maple Syrup in an hour’s time.  Add one more piece of information to the equation, it takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.  The Goodriches had 43,000 taps on a vacuum system to feed that hungry beast of an evaporator.  Anything of this magnitude has to be a wild dream, kinda like the Trans-Alaska Pipeline was a wild dream awhile back.  Anyway, I just kept right on dreaming.  Suddenly, I  was standing beside Burr Morse at the Morse Farm in East Montpelier.  He was keeping a close eye on his evaporator.  A much smaller operation, his evaporator was fueled by wood chips handily delivered to his shed.  3,000 taps supply his vacuum system.  On the other side of town at the Bragg Farm, the brothers were tromping through the woods hanging buckets and tapping the last of the Maples.  Their Sugar House was filled with split wood, their evaporator ready for action.  These men do it the old time way, waiting for Mother Nature to deliver the recipe for sugaring off.  No sir, they aren’t vacuuming sap out of their trees, nor are they using fossil fuel to fire an evaporator.  There’s not a sweeter smell on earth than when sap is boiled down into the ambers that top waffles and pancakes and provide the sweetness for a great  pot of baked beans.  Flash up to Cummings Road in East Montpelier where Burr’s brother has the sweetest little backyard sugaring operation you ever set your eyes on.  An arch fabricated just so, and a stainless steel evaporator the likes of which I’ve never seen.  Under the bright afternoon sun he was making liquid gold out there in his backyard.  Finally, I woke up and was back on Cushman Street where I belong.  I don’t think I need Freud or anyone else to help me analyze this dream; all I know is that at this time of year, everyone ought to get themselves some pure Vermont Maple Syrup and taste a little gold.  Spring is coming, you better believe it!