Sunday, July 6, 2008

Blueberry Hill

I have been searching the forest for a suitable patch of blueberry bushes, and after a few weeks of looking have found a patch that will produce enough berries to make a few pies, muffins and preserves. There are many small bushes scattered around the hillside, but that would take a lot of gathering for only a few berries per bush. Finding a good patch of older bushes is the optimal situation, and with a little effort I have located a plentiful supply.

Claris was eager to join in on the search, although who knows what SHE was actually searching for... But she did enjoy charging through the club moss and sniffing the deer trails. She keeps close by, and is a good companion when I am hiking. Luckily she has yet to discover the joys of rolling in nasty things that our other two dogs loved so much!

The Rhododendrons are still in bloom, and they are wonderful to stumble upon in the forest. They seem to clump together, so make a good "sign-post" for me to get my bearings with.

I am fairly good at figuring out where I am in the woods, and rarely get lost, but having familiar trees, rocks, clearings, gullies and property markers make all the difference. I am sure to lose my way at some point, so I carry a walkie-talkie with me so that if I get into trouble I can call for help. Even in Virginia, which is only "so wild", it is wise to take a few precautions! Claris is no Lassie, and the only way she would rush home without me is if I told her is was feeding time...

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