Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Woodlands Maple Syrup Field Trip

We met with a group of our homeschool friends at MacPhee's Orchard for a field trip to learn how maple syrup is made. 

We were shown the entire process of making maple syrup, from collecting it from the trees to processing the sap into syrup. 
At different time of the season and also different trees give different amounts of sap. It also takes a very big amount of sap to make a small amount of maple syrup. We were told that about six of these large steel buckets were needed to make 1 litre of syrup. 

We tried the sap straight from one of the steel buckets. It had a bit of a sweet taste, but mostly tasted like water.

Richard showed us spots on the maple tree where the woodpecker gets the sap and talked about how early inhabitants would have made the connection, noticing the sweet sap coming out of the tree. 

You can see the small holes in the photo below and the sap that ran out and left a path on the bark of the tree. 

We were then given a taste of the maple syrup. So delicious! 

We went inside the sugar cabin and learned more about the entire process in the making of maple syrup. The smell in the cabin coming from the evaporated sap was wonderful and we now appreciate maple syrup even more knowing the full process. 

Richard explaining how the syrup is checked for thickness as it gets boiled down. Once it is ready, it is then strained into the red pot. 

I found this image at Pure Canadian Maple Syrup and thought it was perfect to show the process simply: 

The Woodlands Maple Syrup is stronger in taste than the Quebec one we usually get from my inlaws, but both are delicious and favourites in our house! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Recycled Food Packaging ~ Documented Life Project

Week sixteen in the Documented Life Project was to "add a cardboard food box in a creative way". 

I only included one food cardboard box, the dragon and lady from a Celestial tea box. I used a brown paper wrap that came with some take out, fruit and veggie stickers, my favourite jam labels, and more tea. 

This one was fun to do once I found food packaging I liked! 

Check out all the prompts at the Art to the 5th Documented Life Project page.

Monday, April 21, 2014

North Rustico Harbour & Boardwalk

After our time at the PEI National Park (see my post here ), we stopped in North Rustico before heading home. 

The fishermen were busy getting their boats and lobster traps ready. There were so many lobster traps set up! We enjoyed watching the boat in the harbour and the busyness. I heard somewhere that it is a sure sign of spring when the lobster traps are out! 

There were many lobster traps, you can see the piles in the photo below, in the background. 

The boardwalk in North Rustico was lovely. We walked along the harbour and noticed the stone carvings along the way. Each had an explanation, and all were carved in Wallace Sandstone by Denise Reiser. 

Each illustrated a part of the heritage of North Rustico, the Mi'Kmaq People who where the original inhabitants of the island, the Acadiens who arrived around 1790 in the area, the Great Blue Heron which nests in PEI, the shipbuilding industry which thrived on the island from 1830 to 1880 with 100 shipyards, and the mackerel. 

If you click on the picture below, it should come up bigger and the words clearer. I kept the order the same as the mosaic with the photos. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

PEI National Park ~ Between Cavendish and North Rustico

On Friday my husband and I went on another date, one of my favourite kind, for a hike on the paths at PEI National Park. 

We walked portions of the Gulf Shore Way West trail which is in between Cavendish and North Rustico. We also drove in between different spots because it really wasn't very warm! We also brought Orion along. He loved every minute of our date too! 

I love being close to the water, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, walking along the water, on the rocks and in the sand, even in the red mud.

Some of the places we walked to still had ice near the shore. 

Water came down to the shore. Orion and I both enjoyed walking along and through the water...

An island rocky heart for my friend Tracie. 

Check out more information about PEI National Park here