Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Blackberry Bumper Crop
Hmmm... is it already that time of year again? Around this time last year, I was out hiking the foothills around town in search of a decent harvest of wild blackberries... Last year wasn't the best year for wild berries in my area due to the extended dryness and lack of sun throughout most of the flowering & fruiting season. Well, whatever last year lacked... was more than compensated for this year. I went out picking berries very early before work yesterday and in just under two hours of casual foraging, my efforts yielded almost as much as four long, punishing hikes last year. I now have over a gallon of blackberries in my freezer and will be adding another gallon to that on my next day off. Hmmm... maybe time to start shopping around for an extra freezer??? There is something deeply satisfying about going out and collecting my own food from the wild.
Last weekend started rough, but it eventually made up for itself by allowing 2 days of perfect weather for enjoying the outdoors. I went up to Long Pond in Lempster to enjoy the weekend with friends... the beach is off-limits to folks who aren't residents of the town, but the boat ramp is public access. One can simply enter the lake at the boat ramp and swim about 150 yards to the island in the middle of the pond (which is state property and open to the public). I ended up towing my buddy M and one of his children to the island with the aide of a floating pool lounger (he has a broken foot). We hung out on the island for a while and I got a bit of a mild sunburn as well as some much-needed down-time. I also got to finally try some funky "otter gloves"- webbed neoprene gloves which I spotted in a discount store last year and forgot about until I came across them in the basement a couple weeks ago. Let me tell ya, these gloves combined with swim fins are a real trip. Yeah, they look a bit silly when you're wearing them, but they enable you to swim unnaturally fast... much to my delight and the potential befuddlement of boaters and clueless people up on the beach. I promise to post pics of Long Pond as soon as I get my camera (hopefully today).