I always say I love picking berries, but I think that berry picking is just a vehicle for me to be totally inspired by the landscape. Yesterday my sister and I and three of our children drove into the mountains (3 hours from home) to pick blueberries and huckleberries. We postponed the first day of homeschool so we could go (I love being able to do that)!
Huckleberries are elusive out here – most years we’ll get a few, some years there won’t be any and then there’s 2013, which has become The Year of the Berry. A perfect growing season resulted in an incredible harvest of berries and I think we’ll never be able to enjoy an “average” harvest again, we were so spoiled this year! I picked 4 gallons in as many hours, and took a ton of wonderful photos to enrich my paintings this winter.
We stayed close together – the bushes were tall and thick and we are wary of grizzly bears.
Wild blueberries – usually we only get low-bush, BB-sized berries but these were almost as large as domestic berries, on waist-high bushes. There is a rich scent of crushed ferns as we walk through the underbrush, and the birds scolded us as we interrupted their buffet.
The huckleberry in the rear is the average size, but I found many much larger! I stood in one spot for over an hour and didn’t run out of berries to pick. My fingers are still stained purple from picking yesterday. Huckleberries have a strong flavour and are wonderful in baking. I love to make a sauce to serve on pancakes. I am a pancake gourmet – true story! No pancake supper occurs without homemade sauce or syrup and buttermilk pancakes made from scratch. I made my sister hold an empty bucket for this quick photo! She’s actually a faster picker than I am.
On the way home, we were nearly at my sister’s house when we reached tiny Sundance Lake and saw a familiar vehicle. Her husband and son were just launching a canoe and we stopped for a few minutes to paddle too!
A perfect day. Sunshine, good company and the most beautiful country to wonder over. I couldn’t help but think of how God creates this abundance in the middle of nowhere, just for his own pleasure. How privileged I feel to be able to enjoy it too!