If June is the month for strawberries, then July is the same for blueberries. There were a few ready last week but this morning the bushes are laden with enough berries that are blue rather than the pale immature white ones. The morning is still cool and the ground moist with dew as the sun has not yet burned off the dampness. Basket in hand, I go to the first bush on the hill.
A few berries have fallen from the bush, resting in the center of pachysandra bunches as a blue dot. They are saved from being the snack of a mouse or chipmunk later this morning.
Reaching under the netting, my hands try to grab only the ripe ones, but I can’t help knocking off some unripe berries. I pop a few damp fruits into my mouth savoring the first harvest of the season. The berries are not overripe having a slight tartness and flavor that store-bought berries do not.
My basket starts to fill as I move bush to bush. Each one is a combination of white, light blue and deep blue jewels in irregular bunches. I will be harvesting for the rest of the month. Thoughts of blueberry pancakes, muffins, jam, compote come to mind. Fresh blueberries crushed into a glass of ice-cold water with a sprig of mint refreshes my imagination. But not to dally. The bugs have not yet found me, though the bees are out early collecting nectar before the sun makes the day too hot for such excursions. Some berries are sacrificed to the rodents as my arms need more joints to reach hidden and difficult to reach spaces. I continue to pick quickly.
With the basket almost full and the sun rising, I stop my harvest and bring the berries inside. Charlotte and I will harvest other bushes this evening when the sun drops below the hill and a cooling breeze rises from the lake. But that doesn’t stop us from enjoying the berries now with our breakfast.