Berry picking


It is raining.

But since my duties as health caretaker has thus far prevented me from foraging, we head out anyway, Josh (my son with Down Syndrome) and me and my dog Maggie.  It turns out the rain is only a minor inconvenience as there are broken down travelers (his car, not him) and fishermen on ATV’s, both crowding my space.  I feel somewhat guilty driving by the guy with tires strewn about, but my dog is not friendly and I am no help changing tires–oh, and I see a guy behind me in a truck slowing down to help.  Good–I don’t like the look of him.  Again, I feel guilty.

This time of year, there are quite a few people about.  Normally, I’d see no one on these back roads.  I thought today might be different, but it seems the rain will not deter them, either.  They are bent on fishing and breaking down ..

I have limited time today and am hoping the berry crop hangs on into early and mid-August as I need to gather and freeze several quarts for a wild blueberry cake recipe I am trying in the lodge pot over Labor Day weekend–for the wood fire cookbook, of course.  Anything extra I manage to pick and freeze will be welcome over the winter on as topping on a paleo cheesecake or berry crumble.

That rain I refer to–we’ve had plenty of it this year.  Not enough sun to benefit my vegetable garden, but the berry bushes are loaded with fruit.  It takes me a while to find the spot where they did the prescribed burn several years ago.  Rather, I’m not sure I have found it at all due to the extent of lumbering that’s gone on down CR 500.  The landscape is drastically altered even though they have mostly selectively cut what was likely soon dead anyway, having been burned by the Duck Lake Fire several years ago.  The clear cut they did in places will likely benefit the grouse population and even the blueberries, that’s one good note, and ah!  — suddenly there are small lakes everywhere I was previously unaware of.

I pick for thirty minutes before the rain starts in earnest, and as I reluctantly head back with a few berries, I see the guy’s car is still there, tires strewn about, his turn signal blinking, but he is nowhere to be seen.

I put a few berries on his dashboard and notice his car smells like cheeseburgers…

We’ll be out again soon.



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