Monday, August 3, 2009
All the native people here talk about picking berries....salmon berries, blue berries, black berries.....berries, berries, berries! Berries this berries that. So naturally I was so excited to pick berries....something I could actually do here that does not require skills! Show me to the berry bushes!!! Our pastor invited us to go berry picking after church yesterday...so I was so excited to have someone who really KNOWS where to go and what they are doing....I thought we would all be hauling buckets and buckets of berries to the freezer to last all winter......YEA RIGHT!!!!!! We arrived at a place overlooking the tundra..and he said, here we are! Uhhhhhh I don't see any berries, where are the 'berry bushes'? I will NEVER take berries for granted again....well it is hard to even walk arcoss the tundra...like walking on spongy moss and almost continually twisting an ankle. The salmon, blue and black berries are microscopic compared to the berries at home and they DO NOT GROW ON BUSHES. You get on your hands and knees and it is like picking at lady bugs in the grass. At least the salmon berries are larger than the totally microscopic blue and black berries. The pictures here are me and my camera practically on the ground for you to see them. And after hours of picking...uhhhh we maybe got a couple of cups!!! I thought my pants were going to bust at the seams everytime I had to bend down and literally crawl on my hands and knees.
Someone gave us some frozen berries when we first got here and I thought it was such a nice gestiure....you know one of those little tupperware containers....but I was thinking this is not really enough to make anything, these "berries" are as big as a #2 penicl eraser....BUT now I understand!! It probably took them hours to pick what they gave us......OH AND DID I MENTION ABSOLUTELY NONE OF THE BERRIES ARE SWEET......SOUR AND TART!!!
We did get to see some beautiful wildlife on our berry picking jont. These musk ox started snorting and grunting at Mr. Stealthman photographer also known as "Iran"....I am smarter than that and hid out in the car while he thinks he is a professional wildlife photographer.