Eed Maple Leaves

Dr. Bondar talks about making this image:

Approximate distribution [composite] of the Sugar Maple in Canada.

Red Maple Leaves are a relatively common Autumn feature in several biomes across Canada such as Forest and Lakes and Rivers.
This is an image of Acer saccharum, commonly called the Sugar Maple. The image represents a sea-to-sea coverage of 10 species of maple. The maple [Acer] is a genus of trees and shrubs within the global maple family [Aceraceae]. The individuals may be small to large and, although they can grow in different soils and altitudes, maples thrive with unblocked access to sunlight when soils are moist, deep, and fertile. Where maples appear within mixed forests, they have found access to the sunlight they prefer.

Maple forests are shrinking in Canada. Lumbering, acid rains, and air pollution are threats to their continued good health.

BIODIVERSITY CANADA’s Forest Biome resource


Three EXAMPLES of Canadians working with Maples

Of all things maple, perhaps the one maple item most often found in homes across Canada is maple syrup. To be marketed in Canada as maple syrup, it must be made entirely from maple sap and support a scale density of 66°Bx.
[Brix: the sugar content of an aqueous solution. Written as XX°Bx.]

At Canada Maple Syrup you can check out the Thompson family’s neat online resource. See how sap is collected from a sustainably managed sugar maple forest during Spring and transformed into World Championship maple syrup. Video. Facts. Intriguing Certification Info. Recipe ideas. Even candy! Some of these Thompson’s treats flew w/ Dr Bondar aboard STS Discovery on her IML-1 mission.

Sugar Maple saplines

maple syrup candies


A tree has many attributes that are used by one life form or another! Our species has learned several things about maple trees that help us to do work. In addition to their fine art pieces, Marcel Dionne and Nicole Picotte, designed and produced maple utensils that add beauty to function and provide a tactile, creative joy in performing daily tasks.

shaping a knife

salad tong duet


Beside feeding us and helping us work, maple will also help us make music! Lute, drum, guitar, recorder, or violin.

Gerard Šamija is a Canadian luthier, a craftsman who builds or repairs stringed instruments containing a neck and sound box. He has always made objects from wood but fell in love with stringed instruments, their sound, and the woods that helped build, shape, and sustain that sound.

He says “The Bigleaf maple trees of the West Coast, ranging from upper Vancouver Island down to central Oregon, provide some of the best quality woods for use in making violin-family instruments. The maples of Eastern Canada tend to be too dense, hard, resistant to vibration.

European maples can be wonderful for instrument backs, ribs, and necks, though I’ve found them less responsive. Many European luthiers have been using our maples since the 1980s, as do some of the best Chinese makers.

I find that our maple is a perfect complement to our spruce, especially Sitka but also Engelmann, these being chosen for the top or ‘belly’ wood of an instrument. Trees a century old and older are the most useful, with wood grown during the pre-industrial age being the most consistent in growth rate, hence most consistent in vibration. The correct relative tuning of the principal vibrational modes between back and belly made from these two woods is key in crafting a successful instrument.”

Think you know something about your own guitar or violin? Check out the images & detail of how Gerard Šamija thinks, hears, and crafts stringed instruments.

Large violoncello by Gerard Šamija

Baroque violin by Gerard Šamija


EXTRA STUFF about Red Maple Leaves, its image-taking,
and other Maple Leaf stuff!



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