Every summer I come to Maine, I head to the berry patches. Mostly, I find Black Berries in the wild and some small few Blueberries along hedgerows. To make jam, I usually buy large quantities of berries from the grocers or road-side stands which proliferate everywhere along my routes to and fro. This year, I made a new friend, Polly. She invited me to pick to my heart's content on her huge Blueberry Barrens. Yippee!!!
Polly and her husband had "burned off" the barrens in front of their hilltop retreat last year. Like Phenix from the ashes, this year's crop of BB has risen beautifully and in bounty. Using the professional pickers' rakes, we filled two big pails in just 15 minutes!
Turns out, Nelson likes BlueBerries too. Once I gave him just one, he began his own harvest.
Picking was the easy part.
Cleaning was a different story.
The "rake" works by skimming the berries from the bush thru the tines, gathering the harvest in a narrow tray at the back. One can easily amass a quart or more in several sweeps over laden bushes. The stickler is, along with berries, the harvest includes leaves, twigs, and.....
wildlife of all sorts!
Cleaning our speedy harvest of two pails took over an hour.
Then to the kitchen!
Blueberry pancakes for breakfast.
Blueberry cake for lunch.
Blueberry Popovers for Supper.
Couldn't get enough!!
JAM- three batches of JAM.
This year's harvest brings bittersweet memories of Mum. Her nickname forever was
"The Blueberry Kid".
I am happy to take over where she left off, appreciating the blue-black gold of the berry harvest.
Sometimes, I open one eye to take an early morning reading on the weather and then go back to sleep. On Monday, I saw the fog and was up, dressed and out of the house in three minutes flat. I had been waiting for this.
It was the perfect foggy day. "A Might Soupy" as they say down east. Not "Thick-a-fog" or even worse, "Dungeon Thick-a-fog", just a might soupy. The sun was burning things off fast and I had to be quick to catch the pictures I have been wanting to try for weeks.
No trip to Maine is complete without getting to play in the fog. Muffled echos make trying to navigate inside a cloud somewhat disorienting and a little challenging if you aren't 100% sure of your bearings. This crew rowed a skiff from their sailboat anchored-out in the harbour. They tip-toed in on silent cat feet, appearing out of the mist like phantoms.
Everything was wet. Wet--like in drenched, sopping, dripping.
Fairy nests and spider webs were everywhere.
As the sun got stronger and the mist got thinner, the soft, buttery colours and blurred edges of the landscape got even more beautiful.
Yesterday and today have been "thick" and "dungeon thick-a-fog" right up to the front deck of the buildings. We can't see the water at all. Fog horns wailing off-shore and the Bald Eagles screeching in frustration at not being able to spot fish from their tree-top perch are the only entertainment right now. My quilt is progressing nicely, thank you. I'm inside, keeping warm and dry, and loving every aspect of summer in Maine.