We're still happily hanging around 70 degrees here in sunny Alaska, though the fireweed is getting high enough to signal that we're probably 5 weeks away from fall. It will be getting chilly very soon, but from the current weather you'd think summer was never going to end. It's never easy to perfectly time blueberry picking in south central Alaska -- it seems that once a news story signals that the berries are in, you can bet that the wisest pickers have already raided the obvious spots 7 days prior. It's a sport to be sure.
Most folks have a hidden spot, and we are no exception. However, our spot is at the end of a really arduous trail, one that has steep trails that involve crawling on your knees for several sections. It's a tough slog, but the berries at the top are well worth it. That place will need to wait a few years for Piper and Henry to get a little sturdier, so in the meantime we headed to Eagle River for a smooth, easy trail to the mountainside.
As we expected, the bushes were a little picked over, though there were berries to be found once you adjusted your eyes to their size, color, and level. Soon Henry and I were bent over, picking away at the wild treats. Henry insisted on using the berry picker and seemed to get the hang of it quickly, particularly when I pointed at clusters of berries so he could slowly line up the picker. Becky and I ultimately put together a nice 2-3 cup bag of blueberries.
Being conservative, I believe Henry picked at least 30 blueberries. Most importantly, he immediately popped each berry into his mouth and chomped down. He even grabbed a handful from my bag for good measure. We gently chided him about saving some for muffins tomorrow, but he would only giggle and shovel them in faster. It's hard to be upset about your kid eating too much wild fruit.
Full set of photos here.