Antidote to the January/Winter Blues!

July 23rd, 2014, 12pm

It was 22.8°C with scattered clouds. The breeze was light.

A fine summer day wild blueberry heals the memories of many a blue Minnesota January day.

The berry crop is fair to middling this season in my picking patches. Some years, a day’s picking yielded gallons; this year its merely quarts. These berries lie in a craggy forest a mere 45 minutes from home, a 30 minute climb from the parking lot. It’s hard to believe I’m the only one picking in the middle of 86,000 people! Well actually I am sharing the berry patch, witnessed by clumps of bear skat filled with blueberries.

A day in the berry patch is a day long embrace in the healing arms of Nature. My entire body feels the harvest: tired back, achy knees, bug bitten skin. The reward? The succulent wild blueberry!

Harvesting the wild blueberry ignites memories of wonderful days spent picking with my parents and brothers throughout the forests of northeastern Minnesota. I can chart the course by my life by the places we went to pick berries (usually in the regrowth of forest fires.) After a few seasons the berries would thin and we would find another place.

I will freeze some for holiday pies this winter. With the rest there will be a pie, some muffins, a wonderful addition of summer to breakfast.

David Wade said thanks.

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Ken Jackson

An avid outdoors man. Retired and retiring, living on the shore of Lake Superior

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