Thursday, July 31, 2008
It's blueberry season here. Although I remember pulling blueberries off of bushes while walking in the woods as a child, I have no memory of deliberately going blueberry picking. In place of that memory, is the book Blueberries for Sal. Perhaps I never needed to go blueberry picking- Sal and Little Bear went for me.
We took the kids blueberry picking a few miles from home. These are not wild blueberries, mind you, but rows of bushes at a local apple orchard, grown under nets to protect them from the birds. You enter through a corner, getting tangled like Peter Rabbit in Mr. MacGregor's garden.
Noodle was thrilled. At first she kept squawking for more, but when she got heavy, we set her down on the ground and the real fun began. She realized that she could get to the berries directly and happily plunged into the picking, popping green and blue berries into her mouth indiscriminately. Mushed from the ground? She doesn't mind. I gave up any notion that I can control her at all.
I asked Q if he remembers Blueberries for Sal. No response. Ah, well.
Unlike Sal, we did not have pails to drop our blueberries in, "Kerplink, Kerplank, Kerplunk." We had a large flat box. It was simplest to leave it in one location and bring a handful at a time. Q took over some of the relay action, a good chore for a child who has trouble differentiating between ripe and unripe until the berry is in his hand. Noodle spotted the motherlode, and dove in. The rest of the the trip was spent juggling the box and Noodle, if one was on the ground, the other one must not be.
The July afternoon sun baked us as we picked. We decided we've had enough after an hour of late afternoon sun. I offered Noodle a final blueberry. She was so tired she can barely open her mouth.
When we arrived home, Q asked in a small voice, as he climbed out of the car, "Mommy? Are we going to can our berries for the winter?"