This past weekend was our annual foray into the woods to pick wild blueberries. The season was earlier than usual but the crop was excellent. Plenty of berries in nice clusters that make for easier picking. It’s a family tradition for us as well as many other families in this area. Everyone has their favorite spot.
It made for a very enjoyable few hours. It’s always nice to be in the woods, but this past Saturday afternoon was especially nice. It was warm enough, but not too warm to be comfortable in long sleeves and pants. The cool, dry breeze kept the bugs off for the most part (but it wouldn’t be a visit the UP woods without a few bites).
It’s also one of those nice activities that lets your mind wander. I began to wonder why it is so nice to go pick blueberries. It’d be much easier, and cheaper to buy them from someone who collects and sells them, especially when you factor in travel costs (we drove about 40 miles round trip) and the time that could be ‘billable time’ to a project (2 hours by two professional types…). So according to the economists, there must be some utility we derive from picking them ourselves. I guess there’s just something about going out and getting them yourself. Part of the fun is finding just the right patches within our usual spot. Part of it is that it is an annual tradition.
And maybe it’s the fact that we live somewhere where berry picking is a thing people do. We’ve lived in places where one cannot do such things, so we appreciate the fact that it’s there and we’d do well to take advantage of that opportunity.
And maybe it’s the chance to do some daydreaming (I had mages of Native Americans picking berries to make into pemmican to sustain them through the winter). Or maybe it’s the satisfaction of seeing a big bucket of berries that and anticipating the pies, muffins, pancakes, jelly and more to come throughout the following months until we’re out picking again next year.