Friday, July 1, 2016

July 2016

Blueberries now and remembered...

Soon after arriving in Canada, we lived in a hidden part of North Vancouver, BC, called Deep Cove. Our backyard there was a mass of brambles and vines. Indeed our yard was a tangle of blueberries and salmonberries with a few raspberries dotted here and there. We spent our first spring clearing paths so we could gather our bounty... and the rest of our time there trying to maintain those paths against nature's rampant power.

Turns out we had some serious competition for our berries. As the last house on a street at the foot of Mt. Seymour, we were a part of The Wild. Visitors included countless raccoons of course, but the most dramatic visitors were bears. We could always tell when they were around because the neighbours' dogs went wild. Guess bears are really smelly. Like our neighbours, we kept our garbage secure in our basement, but those berries! Bears loved our berries... and they loved our easy-access pathways. They came in the night. We never saw them in person, but those barking dogs warned us to stay indoors. We always saw evidence the next day... and those bushes kept creating more berries for all of us.

Many years later, driving on Salt Spring Island, we stopped and picked berries on the sides of the roads. I wondered then, if bears shared those bushes, too.

Now, I get my berries from the grocery store... and when I'm lucky, local markets.

I always think about the bears... and how generations of both our species keep sharing our treasures.
Thank you to David's sister Annie, for this perfect pic of your yummy Portland picks.
This month, I invite you to let all your berry feasts
remind you of the bears—and Kurt Vonnegut's urging:
      . . .  please notice when you are happy,
       And exclaim or murmur or think at some point,

      If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.