Thursday, September 04, 2008

Blueberry Bonanza

If you've never sat in the midst of a patch of blueberry bushes and enjoyed the delicious anticipation of picking wild blueberries, this may not mean much to you. But one of the delights of going to the mountains of New Hampshire for vacation – for me, at least – is picking wild blueberries, freezing them, and bringing them home to become mid-winter blueberry muffins, pies, and cobblers. I know you can get "blueberries" in the grocery store, but to me those factory-farm-grown gigantic puffs are tasteless in comparison to their wild cousins.

The real thing grows on bushes that may be knee high (high bush) or only a few inches off the ground (low bush.) Ripe berries hide under the leaves, but turn the branches back and there you find blue/purple treasure.

Near where we vacation is a nature preserve, the Ossipee Pine Barrens. Primary access is off the main road, but a Class 6 Town Road (really an unpaved track) leads off our secondary road into part of the preserve. So one day I took my new walking stick, my bottle of water, camera, and berry bucket, and headed into the quiet of that tree-shaded road. An hour later I came out with my back and knees a little the worse for wear, a few mosquito bites, and my berry bucket holding a bonanza of wild blueberries.

All the time I was wandering and picking, only one other soul appeared – a man on a bicycle who called and waved to me as he went pedaling by. Otherwise, it was just me, the breeze, sunshine, and the blueberries. A perfect vacation day. To be followed by delicious wild blueberry muffins for New Year's breakfast.


Mary said...

"Otherwise, it was just me, the breeze, sunshine, and the blueberries." And your camera :o)

My mouth is watering!

Peg Silloway said...

I thought of your photographer's eye and your wonderful camera while I was bending over to gather berries. There were some interesting bugs and plants, but my camera simply couldn't capture them. One of these days....