I grew up in a sandy area, north of Barrie, where pine trees were abundant, but where my family and I live now is a very different region. Pine trees don’t naturally grow here in Conestogo where it is so wet and the soil has so much clay.
But, just north of Elmira there is a small region called Sandy Hills, where a the conditions feel very much the same as I remember as a boy: Lots of sand and pine trees. The area was bought by the Waterloo County in 1945 and a red pine stand was planted by school children in the 1950s.
Luckily I also had to very enthusiastic helpers in my search: my oldest son and daughter! Together we spent the last two hours of daylight walking down forest paths looking for sappy pines. My son found that some pine cones had lots of sap on them and dutifully collected a bucket full to help.
As so often happenings in this kind of search, during the walk into the woods I found it difficult to find the dried sap (this was worrying at the time). But, on the way out, my eyes seemed to have adjusted to what I was looking for and I found it everywhere! It seemed I could almost sense it in certain trees before I saw it …
I loved visiting this setting, and so did the kids.