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September 18, 2018: Berry Picking 101

A chore is a self or other-assigned task. Chores are usually done repeatedly. The definition includes household tasks such as cleaning the toilet, mopping the floor, and doing the dishes. Outside tasks (around here) include tending to the animals, picking up their poop included. I for one prefer the outside tasks, but I’am okay with doing the inside ones. This is preferable to living in what I call a fowled (no pun intended) nest.

I try to do one optional chore a day, be it inside or outside. I don’t always succeed, but my heart is in the right place. Time and other tasks get in my way. Right now I am gearing up to clean the bathroom. I’ll do this tomorrow.

Today I opted to pick high bush cranberries. I originally planned to take Tinni and go to Pat and Ray’s field – state land, but this is what we call it. But I first decided to take a look at the hill that borders our guest cabin. I didn’t expect to find many berries there because our neighbors, the professional adventures, are home and Pete said that yesterday, one of them was picking. I soon discovered I was wrong, and that the berries are in great abundance this year. This is because we got numerous days of rain followed by numerous days of sunshine; obviously this resulted in a bumper crop.

At first glance, I saw nothing. I wandered around the brush for a bit and then spotted a handful of red berries. After zeroing in on a few, other berries seemed to make themselves visible. It’s usually this way – my theory is that the eyes and the brain interact in such a way as to make subsequent finds apparent.

I had a two-gallon pail – it was the empty Horseshoer’s Secret bucket. I soon realized that this was not the best choice – it was too large to hold in my free hand. I should have done as Pete has been doing when picking raspberries and, using a dog leash, fasten the bucket around my neck. Alas, I was feeling lazy and did not return to the cabin where ordinarily I would have rigged something up.

For the most part, the picking went smoothly. I moved from bush to bush, my direction being determined by the next sighting. The berries were pretty much chest height so I did not have to bend over or kneel as I do when picking low bush blueberries.

It started to rain and I considered calling it quits. Then the rain stopped and the sun came out again. I took a mid-pick break and checked in on our guest cabin. Our guests left it as they found it, nice and tidy.

I was on the far side of the cabin, on a very steep part of the hill when it happened. I set my bucket on the slope and it tipped over. I lost about one third of my harvest. I calmly scooped up most of what fell out, and resumed picking.

I quit three hours into it. I started at 1 p.m. and it was 4 p.m. Time for lunch. My pail was a little more than half full. Now Pete is making high bush cranberry juice, which he is going to dilute with water and put in glass jars. I am going to add it to my smoothies.

I’ll be curious to see how many jars we end up with.

Next: 261. 9/19/18: Tool Using Man

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