maple syrup season is mostly behind us here. we sometimes tap our big sugar maple in the back yard, but this winter was just a little bit too action-packed to make time for the long process of tapping and boiling. when we first started researching how to do it, and which trees to tap, we learned that box elders also make sap, and therefore syrup, though a little less sweet than maple sap. we later discovered that was because box elder is a variety of maple. and so when i was trying to identify these very maple looking seeds that i knew were not maple, i had to think for a minute before i could remember which tree it was that also made syrup and was sort of a maple but not called a maple. it took my 50 year old menopause brain a little bit of creaky exploring through its own obscure corners. but it came up with box elder eventually. i wish i had some homemade maple syrup to reward it with.
boxelder (maple) seeds in late winter