If you were to go for a walk on our peninsula these days, you’d see some strange things. You might notice bottles and jugs of clear liquid set along the trail, or stashed away under a rocky overhang, or under a tree root. You may even see a somewhat disheveled, hermity-looking character moving with a suggestion of furtiveness through the forest, carrying similar jugs. Some containers might have paper tape labels, with the contents scrawled in hasty marking pen, but you might be excused if you doubted this information.
Most sane people would assume they’d stumbled upon evidence of bootlegging, until they opened a bottle and took a sniff. While they may not recognize the smell, they’d at least be assured that these jugs do not contain moonshine. To some people, “moonshine” is another word for “monkey business,” a term that might be applied to this sort of behavior.
Our birch tapping operation has gotten a little out of hand.