Thursday, July 17, 2008

Blues Sisters

In planning our vacation, the fair Titania offered a number of suggestions for our leisure hours, including hiking nearby mountains, swimming, kayaking, and other outings.

Enthusiastic as I was, though, about enjoying a very physical vacation after spending way too much of my work time in front of a computer, my body had a different plan in mind once I settled into the lake house. I've been sleeping in, lolling about, and drifting on the lake, venturing out only for the rare visit to local establishments and one brief hike.

Early in the week, Titania determined to head out and pick wild blueberries. She introduced me to a local field where the owners welcomed community members to pick freely from the low bushes.

"Have fun," I said, drifting back to my book and sunny perch on the dock, not wanting to waste my efforts on bending over for so many small fruit.

I should add here that Titania has always demonstrated far more enthusiasm for blueberries than I have, holding the wild variety in high esteem. I like blueberries, but as I'd only ever had the cultivated ones before, I didn't understand her passion. When she shared some of her foraged berries with me, though, I could see her point.

The cultivated ones, left, might be bigger, but the small wild blueberries tasted juicier, sweeter, and more intensely flavored. I'm sold!

Two outings to the field, despite the good yield, proved to be insufficient for my dear friend, and I found myself eagerly supporting her plan to take the kayaks out on the lake and to forage from the endless shorelines of wild berry bushes.

We headed out in late afternoon, inspecting spots along the way and picking clean the bluest of berries from those branches we could actually reach. I couldn't quite decide if this seated method were easier than standing and bending around a high bush -- or if I were getting far more of a workout from maneuvering my craft and strong-arming branches into my reach.

We wandered and picked for a couple hours, only gathering about a quart and a half of berries between us, but we returned shortly before sundown, welcomed home by a loon drifting across our course.

After cleaning my share of the berries, I treated myself to the harmonious combination of local ginger ice cream topped with wild berries. Perfect!

I still have about a pint of berries to take home with me -- as long as the airport security folks don't confiscate them.

And that's the berry best souvenir to carry home!

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At 7/23/2008 1:48 PM, Anonymous Janet said...

Thanks for sharing, virtually, your vacation. Sounds fabulous in terms of scenery, restfulness and food. I want to go to that creamery!!!

At 7/23/2008 1:57 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Oh, it was, Janet. And I am sorely having that lake for a morning swim... not to mention all the blueberries!


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