15 August 2005

Blueberries

Several years ago, when my children were old enough, we all set out to the nearby open fields to pick blueberries. As any good Mainer knows, wild Maine blueberries can be found just about anywhere, come late July and on into August. Day after day, my children and I walked the short 1/2 mile or so to the blueberry fields near our home. Our fields are found in the cleared-out area where the power lines run through the countryside. There, miles and miles of blueberries grow each summer, and there, many roadside stands gather their stores.

Maine wild blueberries are tiny, much smaller than the variety found in most supermarkets; but the flavor is unmistakeable. Maine blueberries are sweet, juicy, and what they lack in size, they make up in taste.

At ages four, five, and even eight or nine, my children loved going to the blueberry fields. Each day we enjoyed blueberries on our breakfast cereal, blueberry muffins, blueberry pie, blueberry cobbler, and blueberries on our ice cream after supper. Each day my husband smiled when he came home from work to find more wild blueberries in the refrigerator. He fondly called us "blueberry picking fools."

Today my children are older and have lost their desire to go picking. A couple of weeks ago when the blueberries became ripe, I gathered everyone to walk to the local fields, each of us carrying bowls and buckets, but the children soon lost interest. They complained about the heat and went to the nearby stream to cool their feet.

But somehow I still can't get enough of the Maine blueberries. Perhaps it's because there are simply so many; one could pick for days and still always find more. Perhaps it's because they are temporary; they come and go before we know it and although we can never pick them all, we want to get all we can while we can. Or perhaps my husband is right. Perhaps I'm just a blueberry picking fool. :)

Copyright © 2005 - Paulla Estes

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