One thing to remember when you visit Canada or New England: March is a winter month. March is not spring. March is nothing even close to spring. It is ice-locked and raw blue-white. Still deep and silent inside the trees are the seeds and sap of hope. Eventually, they will bubble up. The harvest begins soon in these chilly parts, where maple trees are plentiful and romanticized by artists, authors and locovores. The sun warms the trees by day and draws the sap up through the branches, then the cold night air re-grips the trees and sends the sap running for refuge down to the roots. That’s what tapping trees is all about – catching the sap as it travels from day to night, from up to down, from life-igniting warmth to dead winter-ice cold. It is a storied process. The captured sap is then boiled for days until its sugar caramelizes and concentrates, rendering its color amber-brown and its texture sticky and thick. This bounty holds a special place for children, who understand that only the finest shift of molecules separates maple syrup from candy. Here are photos of sugar maple trees and just a few of the syrups, confections, maple-infused chocolates, sauces and foliage that have colored my life in the last few years.