July 27, 2012

Wild Blueberry Picking

While up at the cabin last summer, we found a great plot of wild Canadian blueberries in a nice rocky bay that I've named "Blueberry Bay."
It was June, and they were just blossoming. Not in season yet, but a promising berry picking spot for future trips.
Last week during our stay, we boated over & climbed ashore to see how the berries were coming along.
Late July was still a little too early. There were berries everywhere, but very few ripe ones yet.
I scavenged thoroughly, though, and was able to come up with enough to layer the bottom of my bowl, that were close enough to pass as ripe.

Last June's wild blueberry blossoms:
This July. Beautiful baby blueberries on their way:
One thing I have to say about Canadian berry picking is that when you get into the bushes, it stirs up the black flies (what we would consider really big, brutal gnats.)
They were in my eyes, in my hair, biting my ankles, up my pant legs, & everywhere. The mosquitoes must go hungry up there with so few bodies to feed on & zeroed in on us, too, along with horseflies & deer flies. I don't think I've ever been in such a bad bug situation in my life. That's saying a lot, considering where I've spent most of it.
We (Johnathan, Lilly, Beau & I) were flailing, swatting, all but dancing a jig.
Our first two years, we were there in August when the berries were ripe, but we had yet to find them.  In the case of wild blueberries, finding them is key.
One day the stars will align & life & schedules will allow us to go back to Blueberry Bay when the picking is ripe.
Speaking of stars, the American Indian held the wild blueberry in very high esteem, due to the fact that the blossom end of each blueberry forms a five points star.

They thought the Great Spirit sent these star berries for good reasons.

Back here at home in Minnesota, the local blueberry patches are getting busy.
If you plan to go after any this weekend, Happy Picking!
(And if you know where any wild ones are- I'd be very happy to share your secret!)

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