Like everyone and everything in Quebec, the maple forest responds to the rhythm of the seasons, from the well-known sugaring time in spring to the festival of colours in autumn. Summer or winter, you’ll find the flora and fauna content in the shade of the sugar maple trees or sleeping under a soft blanket of snow.
When spring comes, it’s sugaring time! Nature comes back to life. The snow melts. The ground warms up. The little drops of maple sap wake up and start their long journey with the help of starch, a molecule of energy that sweetens the maple sap. The heat of the sun and soil revives the sugar maple, and its sap rises through the tree’s trunk. Along the way, a little bit seeps out the notch in the trunk and is collected to make maple syrup, the pride and joy of Quebec.
It’s summer in the sugar bush! The birds, animals, insects, flowers, plants, and trees live, grow, and mature in the warm rays of the sun, as well as in times of rain and clouds. Everything plays its part because the sugar bush this is a forest that needs both heat and water to support the growth of all the tree species in it.
In autumn, it’s a festival of colours in the sugar bush. The sap is circulating very, very slowly in the trees and it’s not reaching their leaves anymore, and they change colour. No, it’s not because they’re angry. They’re turning red, yellow and orange because they’re getting insufficient light to cause the photosynthesis that provides them with energy. One by one, they gently fall to the ground. The trees are going dormant … they’re falling asleep.
The sugar bush is under snow and nature seems asleep. The creek and the little pond are frozen. Deers scrape at the snow with their hoofs to find food. A fox walks lightly on the snow. Black-capped chickadees flit from branch to branch. Time passes slowly until winter ends and the maple producer pulls on snowshoes and goes out to make notches in the sugar maples once again.