Gray squirrel bounding through wet snow (Casavant, Winooski)

Sugaring Season

I was following the tracks of a gray squirrel bounding through the brush in Casavant in Winooski yesterday (photos definitely taken before the snow storm) when I spotted a silver maple dripping sap all along a side branch. The tree as a whole was a mixed bag of health. 1 of the 3 main trunks had died and been thoroughly picked apart by hairy woodpeckers, the other 2 trunks seemed in good shape.

The “tapped” limb was on one of the larger healthy trunks, but was scarred up to about half way up its length. It was a complete mess, with wounds fresh and old. I climbed up the trunk hoping my speculations were true. I’ve read about and watched videos of red and fox squirrels biting maple branches and coming back to lick the sap, but hadn’t seen this before. I had a tough time finding a good way to hold onto the tree and take a picture so the photos are unfortunately mostly terrible, but clearly show fresh squirrel bite marks, a sapsicle, and plenty of old wounds. Pretty exciting stuff! Oh, and yes, the sapsicle did taste delicious.

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